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Four year screening interval picks up most prostate cancers

10/09/2003 - News

Four year screening interval picks up most prostate cancers

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

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A study on prostate cancer screening reveals that a four year interval between checks is enough to detect most cases of the disease.

The effectiveness of screening for prostate cancer is a subject of much debate - which tests should be done, and how often? The European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer is an ongoing trial of prostate cancer screening and researchers from The Netherlands now report on their part of this. They followed 17,226 men aged 55 to 74 who either had screening, or no screening, every four years.

The screening consisted of a prostate-specific antigen testing, a digital rectal exam and a transrectal ultrasound. The number of interval cancers - cases diagnosed between the screenings - was 18 in the screening group compared to 135 among those who did not have screening. This suggests that screening is highly sensitive at picking up cancers and that few, if any, aggressive prostate cancers escape the screening process.

Source

Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1st October 2003

Created on: 10/09/2003
Reviewed on: 10/09/2003

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