Healthcare Blog

Low Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Value And Aggressive Screening, Negligible Benefit For Older Men, Bad For Quality Of Life

October 06, 2017

If a man aged 55 to 74 has a low PSA (prostate-specific antigen) and receives aggressive prostate cancer screening, evaluation and treatment, his chances of receiving any benefit are negligible, according to a study published in the medical journal Cancer.

Pim J. van Leuwen, MD, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands, and team found that males with low serum PSA levels often undergo biopsies and aggressive treatments, with no significant improvement in mortality, after examining details on 85,000 males aged between 55 and 74 years.

Dr. Pim van Leeuwen said:

Screening for prostate cancer has the potential to reduce prostate cancer mortality, but there is a large group of men with a moderately low PSA that will hardly have any benefits of further screening and early detection strategies.

In these men, screening and early detection is likely to have little effect on the reduction of prostate cancer mortality, but a major negative effect on the quality of life.

The authors report than between 1993 and 1999, 43,987 males (aged 55-70) were included in the intervention arm of the ERSPC (European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer) section in Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden. 42,503 males (55-74 years) were included in a clinical population in Northern Ireland. PSA