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.
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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