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Early Prostate Cancer Detection, Screening: No Benefit for Men with Low Baseline PSA Value, Study Finds

According to a study published online in the American Cancer Society’s journal Cancer, for men between the ages of 55 and 74 with low baseline blood levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) -- between zero and 1.9 ng/ml  -- further prostate cancer screening and treatment provides no benefit.

According to ScienceDaily:

“This study indicates that a man's PSA level before diagnosis is a strong predictor for his risk of dying from prostate cancer. For men aged 55 to 74 years who have low PSA levels, the benefits of aggressive follow-up testing and treatment seem limited. Without providing benefits, they may increase prostate cancer diagnoses and lead to overtreatment and increased costs.”

Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in men in Western countries.

A man in the U.S. has about a one in six chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer, but the risk of death from the disease is relatively low (about one in 36).

Early detection programs probably provide the greatest benefit to men aged 55 to 74 with PSA levels in the 4.0-9.9 ng/ml range or the 10.0-19.9 ng/ml range.

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