The value of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer is the subject of much debate today. Results from a large long-term European study provide important insight. The study was published in Lancet, which is a prestigious European medical journal.
Over 13 years, men who were offered PSA screening had a 21 percent lower risk of dying of prostate cancer than their counterparts who weren’t offered screening. Stated another way, PSA screening prevented one death for every 27 cases of prostate cancer it detected.
In spite of these results, there is no one-size-fits-all screening strategy. All men and their doctors should weigh the benefits and risks of screening based on the man’s individual circumstances and preferences.
Bottom Line: These findings provide confirmation that prostate cancer-related deaths are lower in men who are screened. I recommend annual PSA testing until age 75 and discontinue testing as prostate cancer is a slow growing malignancy and older men will often die WITH prostate cancer rather than FROM it.