Experts advise against PSA Screening for prostate cancer

Some 57,000 men in Germany are diagnosed within a year of prostate cancer, it is the most common tumor disease is with you on this. Almost 14,000 die each year as a result. The so-called PSA Test promises to detect the disease early and to give men through a timely treatment, the Chance to survive the cancer. In some cases, this is possible actually.

It is so useful, the Tests all the men of a certain age to offer and not only those which already have a suspicion on a cancer disease or be at increased risk?

No, says the Institute for quality and efficiency in health care (IQWiG) in a recent report. Because the Test is so much damage, so the assessment of the IQWiG, the statutory health insurance funds should not bear the cost.

Studies that evaluated the IQWiG, suggest that the damage is greater than the Benefit. Anyone who thinks a cancer Test could only have positive consequences and no negative, you are wrong.

In a total of eleven studies with more than 400,000 participants were invited to either a regular PSA Tests or not, has been the following.

The benefits of PSA Screening:

  • Of 1000 men, to be invited to the early detection of cancer, to be preserved in the course of twelve years, about three in front of a metastatic cancer.
  • Over a period of 16 years die of 1000 men, there were three less to prostate cancer. However, the so-called total mortality is not reduced. On average, patients are 72 years of age, if you develop prostate cancer. Many of those Affected die, therefore, is not prostate cancer, but on something else.

The disadvantages of PSA Screening:

  • More than 200 of the 1000 participants in the early detection of the suspicion that you are not suffering from cancer, what is confirmed, but in hindsight, arises because of an elevated PSA value. The amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood, not only increased in prostate cancer. These findings are for men distressing; for clarification, carried out collection of tissue (biopsy) can also lead to infections.
  • About 35 to 60 of 1000 men will receive the diagnosis of prostate cancer, though the cancer never a Problem would become; one speaks of over-diagnosis. The following – actually unnecessary – cancer therapy can do for these men in permanent damage.

“Screening measures can lead to serious damages”, says IQWiG’s Director Jürgen Windeler. “The PSA Screening it comes, in particular, to a significant number of over-diagnosis, which in itself is stressful, but especially Übertherapien after and long-lasting drag, and, ultimately, to serious complications such as incontinence and impotence can lead.”

The Screening would be damaging, therefore, significantly more men than advantage, is the conclusion of the Institute.

Recently, the German society for General medicine and family medicine has issued a new guideline, a similar recommendation: early detection using the PSA value should men be actively offered. If patients questions, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages are elucidated. The goal was to protect men in front of Überdiagnostik and Übertherapie.

While the funds will not cover the costs of PSA Tests, you pay a other prostate cancer screening: the Palpation of the prostate by a doctor. As the ratio of Benefit and harm in this study has not investigated the IQWiG, the had currently, only the order to check the PSA Test. There is, however, no reason to assume that you would do in a review is better, writes the Institute.