A recent study suggests that men in their late 40s could benefit from being offered a routine screening test for prostate cancer.
Prostate screening detects levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA); a protein produced by normal as well as cancerous prostate cells. The idea has caused some controversy as screening for PSA has been deemed unreliable as previous testing has sometimes produced false positive results.
However, results taken from a recent study carried out on men aged 27-52 showed that a high PSA reading was associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer; suggesting that men would benefit from routine PSA screening.
The study revealed that screening amongst men who were below the age of 45 detected few deadly cancers, and screening amongst men aged 50 and over missed too many; suggesting that men in their late 40s are at the prime age for PSA testing to avoid false results or late detection.
Recent research carried out by the ERSPC (European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer) showed that prostate screening reduced the risk of mortality by 20%, and according to Swedish researchers, routine screening of men aged 45-49 could help to predict nearly half of prostate cancer fatalities.
However, when the UK National Screening Committee last assessed the issue in 2010, it was decided that routine screening should not be introduced, and there is currently still no routine screening programme existing in the UK.
At Southdowns Private Healthcare our doctors can help to screen for early signs of prostate cancer or to assess you for any concerns you may have about cancer and your health. To learn more about our cancer screening services, or to book an appointment, call us on 01243 388 712.