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Elderly 'should have access to cancer tests'

Prostate cancer treatment and detection methods should not exclude the elderly, a new report has found.

Scientists working at the University of Rochester used data from 1998 to 2007 and found that older men are more likely to have the progressive forms of the disease and subsequently accounted for 53 per cent of prostate cancer deaths.

That time period was known as the PSA era as doctors were prone to issue a prostate-specific antigen test to patients with symptoms.

Researchers found that many of the otherwise-healthy men who developed the most severe tumours were not given the opportunity to take the test.

Lead author of the study Guan Wu believes it "should stimulate the need to develop an algorithm to identify healthy, elderly men who might benefit from an earlier diagnosis".

During the past three decades prostate cancer cases incidences in the UK have almost tripled, but much of the rise is due to the development of the PSA test, states Cancer Research UK. 

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