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Prostate Test Found to Save Few Lives

March 18, 2009 -- The PSA blood test, used to screen for prostate cancer, saves few lives and leads to risky and unnecessary treatments for large numbers of men, two large studies have found.

In two large randomized trials, one in the United States and the other in Europe, researchers examined the effect of annual prostate-specific–antigen (PSA) screening on the rate of death from prostate cancer and found that it was small and was offset by false positive diagnoses. In a roundtable discussion moderated by Dr. Thomas Lee, oncologist Philip Kantoff and primary care physician Mary McNaughton-Collins debate the clinical implications of the new findings and the best way to advise patients about undergoing PSA testing.

Read the U.S. Study, the European study, and the accompanying editorial. View the video roundtable.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine

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