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Prostate cancer screening 'controversial'

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A form of prostate cancer screening has been highlighted as controversial by a leading charity.

Cancer Research claimed that using levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) as a method of screening for the disease is not always recommended.

This is due to the fact that many men who have high levels of the antigen do not actually have prostate cancer.

Furthermore, the test is not able to show if a man has aggressive prostate cancer or if in fact he is unlikely to ever develop symptoms or require treatment.

However, a recent study highlighted by the charity suggested that PSA can be useful when targeted at men who have an increased risk of the cancer due to their family history.

Ed Yong, head of health evidence and information at Cancer Research UK, said: "This new study suggests that we could limit the number of men who undergo unnecessary treatment by targeting PSA testing at very specific groups of people, who have particularly high risk of prostate cancer.

"It's a promising result and we'll need to see if it bears out in future research." 

© Adfero Ltd


Cancer treatment news : 16 September 2010