15 March 2021

New scientific update is aimed at European policy makers

PSA-based screening programmes have been shown to substantially decrease prostate cancer mortality at a reasonable cost. This is a key fact highlighted in a new information sheet created by Europa Uomo and other organisations to inform decision-makers in the European Union as they put the Beating Cancer Plan into practice.

The factsheet, produced with the European Association of Urology and the European Cancer Patient Coalition, points out that before PSA testing, most men presented with metastatic disease. Up to one in two prostate cancer patients died of the disease. However, since PSA testing has been available, prostate cancer mortality has declined to one in four.

The potential cost of this may have been over-diagnosis and overtreatment, says the fact sheet and scientific update. But it emphasises that this need no longer be the case.

“Compared to the classic diagnostic strategy (that is, PSA and direct biopsies), we can use PSA more cleverly, apply MRI and further risk stratification tools in men at increased risk,” says the factsheet. “This combined approach in well-informed men will allow a substantial reduction of the number of men that need to undergo biopsy (up to 70%) and over-diagnosis up to 20%.”