2 March 2021

New American study suggests need for screening programmes

Reductions in PSA screening are associated with increased incidence of diagnosis of prostate cancer at a metastatic stage, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles examined the link between PSA screening and metastatic prostate cancer at diagnosis in the United States between 2002 and 2016.

They found that the percentage of men screened for prostate cancer decreased from 61.8% to 50.5% over those years, while the incidence of metastatic prostate cancer at diagnosis increased – from 6.4 per 100,000 to 9 per 100,000.

Looking at individual states, there was an association found between reductions in PSA screening and increased metastatic prostate cancer. Larger increases in the incidence of metastatic prostate cancer at diagnosis were seen in states with larger reductions in PSA screening.

"The magnitude of decreased PSA screening was correlated to the magnitude of increased metastatic disease, suggesting that there may be a link at population level," said lead researcher Vidit Sharma, who presented the findings to the virtual American Society of Clinical Oncology annual Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

The research adds further weight to Europa Uomo’s argument that national prostate cancer screening programmes are needed across Europe to decrease mortality and improve quality of life.

“Early detection of prostate cancer is of the utmost importance,” says Europa Uomo Chairman Andre Deschamps. “As our recent EUPROMs survey demonstrated, the more advanced the prostate cancer at diagnosis, the worse the effects of treatment on quality of life.”