Prostate cancer screening 'could reduce deaths by a fifth'

The number of men killed by prostate cancer could be cut by one fifth if regular screening was introduced, despite doubts about the test used, a major study has claimed.

Over a period of nine years, screening reduced the number of men dying from prostate cancer by 15%, increasing to 22% after 11 years.

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Prostate cancer screens 'could reduce deaths by a fifth'

Regular screening for prostate cancer could cut the number of deaths from the disease by one fifth, despite doubts about the diagnostic test used, a major study has found.

The diagnostic test for prostate cancer can be unreliable. Credit: PA

Over a period of nine years, screening reduced the number of men dying from prostate cancer by 15%, increasing to 22% after 11 years, according to data from the European Randomised study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC).

Some 162,000 men aged 50 to 74 from eight European countries - Belgium, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland - took part in the research.

The diagnostic test is controversial because it measures blood levels of the biomarker prostate specific antigen (PSA), which is so unreliable.

Higher than normal PSA has been found in healthy men and visa versa in patients who already have prostate cancer.

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