Screening middle-aged men for prostate cancer can help to halve the number of deaths from the disease, scientists have reported.
Research carried out by a team at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden looked into the merits of screening men between the ages of 50 and 65 for the condition.
They found that prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening, which is already offered in the United States, helped to cut rates of death from the form of cancer by around 50 per cent over a 14-year period.
Although some opponents continue to argue that there are a number of downsides to mass-screening, including over-diagnosis caused by false positives, study leader Jonas Hugosson has stated that PSA screening can lead to a marked reduction in cancer mortality.
While welcoming the new report, which has been published in the Lancet, the UK-based Prostate Cancer Charity has also stated that the findings do not mean blanket screening should be introduced in Britain.
"We would need more evidence to show that the benefits of screening outweigh the harms before screening could be introduced in the UK," chief executive John Neate said.
What's better? Private or NHS healthcare?