New Research Is Released as U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Cancels Its November Meeting to Vote on Prostate Cancer Screening
WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In addition to saving lives, a new study indicates routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing improves quality of life by substantially reducing the risk that prostate cancer will spread to other parts of the body.
"Our study shows that routine screening not only improves the patient's quality of life by stopping metastatic disease, but it also decreases the burden of care for this advanced disease that must be provided by the healthcare system," Chandana Reddy, the study's author and senior biostatistician at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, said in a news release. "This demonstrates that the PSA test is extremely valuable in catching the disease earlier and allowing men to live more productive lives after treatment."
"Detecting cancer before it spreads can mean the difference between curable and incurable, life and death," said Skip Lockwood, CEO of ZERO – The Project to End Prostate Cancer. "We hope this finally puts an end to the controversy surrounding the PSA test since the latest studies have shown the test not only saves lives, but also gives men a chance at having a full and healthy life after treatment."
The study reviewed more than 1,700 prostate cancer patients who were treated between 1986 and 1996 with either radiation therapy or surgery to remove their prostate gland and the surrounding tissue. Because PSA tests weren't widely used until 1993, researchers compared the spread of the cancer between those who were diagnosed with a PSA test and those who weren't. During a 10-year period, the cancer spread in 13% of the patients, and researchers found those who were diagnosed with a PSA test were significantly less likely to have their prostate cancer spread after their original treatment.
The findings were presented at a news conference Monday, a week before the annual meeting of the American Society of Radiation Oncology in San Diego.
The news also comes as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) cancels its November meeting that was scheduled to vote on the value of prostate cancer testing. The meeting was reportedly cancelled because of scheduling conflicts.
Last November, the USPSTF voted to recommend against prostate cancer testing for men of all ages, but decided to schedule a re-vote to more thoroughly assess the balance of benefits and harms of the PSA test. Also last November, USPSTF updated its recommendations for breast cancer screening, saying a routine mammogram was not needed until a woman reached the age of 50, which sparked heated controversy and made headlines.
"We hope this new research shows the USPSTF the importance of the PSA test and early detection of prostate cancer, and we encourage the task force to vote to recommend prostate cancer testing for the benefit of all men," said Lockwood.
About ZERO – The Project to End Prostate Cancer (ZeroCancer.org)
Our name conveys what we stand for – zero tolerance for prostate cancer. At ZERO, we commit ourselves not only to reduce prostate cancer or alleviate the pain from the disease, but also to end it. To accomplish our goal, we provide comprehensive treatment information to patients, education to those at risk and conduct free prostate cancer testing throughout the country. We increase research funds from the federal government to find new treatments and we fund local grants to end the disease.
SOURCE ZERO - The Project to End Prostate Cancer