‘False positive’ concern over prostate cancer test
One in eight men screened for prostate cancer will test positive when they do not have the disease, a major European trial has shown.
A positive result can mean undergoing invasive tests such as biopsy as well as potentially unnecessary treatment.
Screening with prostate specific antigen (PSA) is not routinely offered in the UK but government experts are reviewing evidence from the study.
Cancer Research UK said men should talk about the pros and cons with their GP.
Early data from the European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer, which is being conducted in seven countries, showed in March 2009 that deaths could be cut by 20%.
It is important that men in their 50s and 60s can talk to their doctor about the pros and cons of having a PSA test and only have the test if they feel it is right for them
But other recent evidence has cast doubt on the long-term benefits of screening, suggesting some men may end up being “over-treated” for slow-growing disease that would never cause a problem in their lifetime…