U.S (TNO) Use of a blood test to detect prostate cancer fell after a U.S. government-back panel advised against using it, researchers found.”I’m hoping that men are being allowed to make a choice and this decline reflects the fact that they prefer not to be screened,” said study author Dr. Otis Brawley, who is chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society in Atlanta.However, some researchers fear the test, for a substance in the blood called prostate-specific antigen (PSA), is simply not being offered to men anymore, which could mean that more cancers will be diagnosed at advanced stages, leading to more deaths.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended against routine PSA screening in 2012.Brawley told Reuters Health that 11 high-quality trials have examined the value of PSA screening, but only two found that the test saves lives.
“They all show that PSA screening is associated with potential harms,” he added. Those harms include treating slow-growing and possibly harmless cancers with prostate removal, which can leave lifelong complications.”We’re talking about a large number of men who are diagnosed and needlessly treated,” Brawley said.
For the new study, he and his colleagues used a database of nearly 446,000 men to look at prostate cancers in the U.S. from 2005 through 2012