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There are calls for a national screening programme for prostate cancer: what is the evidence to justify such a national screening programme?

There are calls for a national screening programme for prostate cancer: what is the evidence to justify such a national screening programme?
There are calls for a national screening programme for prostate cancer: what is the evidence to justify such a national screening programme?

INTRODUCTION: Prostate cancer is the commonest cancer in men and a major health issue worldwide. Screening for early disease has been available for many years, but there is still no national screening programme established in the United Kingdom.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the latest evidence regarding prostate cancer screening and whether it meets the necessary requirements to be established as a national programme for all men.

METHODS: Electronic databases and library catalogues were searched electronically and manual retrieval was performed. Only primary research results were used for the analysis.

RESULTS: In recent years, several important randomised controlled trials have produced varied outcomes. In Europe the largest study thus far concluded that screening reduced prostate cancer mortality by 20%. On the contrary, a large American trial found no reduction in mortality after 7-10 years follow-up. Most studies comment on the adverse effects of screening - principally those of overdiagnosis and subsequent overtreatment.

DISCUSSION: Further information about the natural history of prostate cancer and accuracy of screening is needed before a screening programme can be truly justified. In the interim, doctors and patients should discuss the risks, benefits and sequelae of taking part in voluntary screening for prostate cancer.

Digital Rectal Examination, Early Detection of Cancer, Evidence-Based Medicine, Humans, Male, Prostate-Specific Antigen, Prostatic Neoplasms, United Kingdom, Journal Article
0036-9330
64-68
Green, A.
39b5daa6-0aa7-4ab6-9e1b-e52748ef98e3
Tait, C.
b8803f3a-de2a-4926-bc90-374443689e9a
Aboumarzouk, O.
3c7e2433-638d-4378-9931-902fdc68acce
Somani, B.K.
ab5fd1ce-02df-4b88-b25e-8ece396335d9
Cohen, N.P.
7527ee7a-e4da-4f11-8e60-8834c985612c
Green, A.
39b5daa6-0aa7-4ab6-9e1b-e52748ef98e3
Tait, C.
b8803f3a-de2a-4926-bc90-374443689e9a
Aboumarzouk, O.
3c7e2433-638d-4378-9931-902fdc68acce
Somani, B.K.
ab5fd1ce-02df-4b88-b25e-8ece396335d9
Cohen, N.P.
7527ee7a-e4da-4f11-8e60-8834c985612c

Green, A., Tait, C., Aboumarzouk, O., Somani, B.K. and Cohen, N.P. (2013) There are calls for a national screening programme for prostate cancer: what is the evidence to justify such a national screening programme? Scottish Medical Journal, 58 (2), 64-68. (doi:10.1177/0036933013482631).

Record type: Article

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Prostate cancer is the commonest cancer in men and a major health issue worldwide. Screening for early disease has been available for many years, but there is still no national screening programme established in the United Kingdom.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the latest evidence regarding prostate cancer screening and whether it meets the necessary requirements to be established as a national programme for all men.

METHODS: Electronic databases and library catalogues were searched electronically and manual retrieval was performed. Only primary research results were used for the analysis.

RESULTS: In recent years, several important randomised controlled trials have produced varied outcomes. In Europe the largest study thus far concluded that screening reduced prostate cancer mortality by 20%. On the contrary, a large American trial found no reduction in mortality after 7-10 years follow-up. Most studies comment on the adverse effects of screening - principally those of overdiagnosis and subsequent overtreatment.

DISCUSSION: Further information about the natural history of prostate cancer and accuracy of screening is needed before a screening programme can be truly justified. In the interim, doctors and patients should discuss the risks, benefits and sequelae of taking part in voluntary screening for prostate cancer.

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More information

Published date: May 2013
Keywords: Digital Rectal Examination, Early Detection of Cancer, Evidence-Based Medicine, Humans, Male, Prostate-Specific Antigen, Prostatic Neoplasms, United Kingdom, Journal Article

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 419366
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/419366
ISSN: 0036-9330
PURE UUID: 32efd041-130e-4c3a-84bb-ef0b5641dcf9

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Date deposited: 11 Apr 2018 16:30
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 18:44

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