The screening discussion: what are others saying?


We thought it might be wise to make sure that readers of The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink didn’t just hear what we thought about today’s two NEJM articles, but also got a cross-section of perspectives from others.

Where relevant we have taken the liberty of giving our opinion on the articles we think you might like to look at, but we have tried hard not to pick articles that necessarily agree with us.

So:

  • Consumer Reports, which prides itself on its evidence-based impartiality, seems to be in the same camp with The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink.
  • The U.S. National Cancer Institute and its director, John Niederhuber, MD, state in a media release that, “US Cancer Screening Trial Shows No Early Mortality Benefit from Annual Prostate Cancer Screening.”
  • The American Cancer Society says, “Prostate Cancer Screening: Weigh Risks, Benefits With Your Doctor.”
  • WebMD reports on the two studies but doesn’t take any particular position itself.
  • The European Association for Urology — in a media release — manages to persuade itself that the ERPC study shows that mass screening for prostate cancer is life-saving.
  • The Los Angeles Times says that, “Prostate cancer screenings provide little benefit, studies show.”
  • The Chicago Tribune asks, “Is prostate test worth it?”
  • Gina Kolata in the New York Times writes, “Prostate Cancer Test Found to Save Few Lives”
  • Stephanie Nano of The Associated Press writes that, “Studies don’t end prostate cancer test controversy.”
  • Reuters says that, “Conflicting studies fail to quell prostate debate.”
  • BBC News says, “Routine prostate cancer screening could cut death rates from the disease by 20%, a major study suggests” and adds, “The results … have prompted a review of the current policy not to offer routine NHS screening.” (We think they must have read the EAU press release!)

We are sure there will be more to come over the next few days!

One Response

  1. Consumer Reports reported:

    “The problem: It turns out that many prostate cancers are unaggressive and may not require any immediate treatment. Yet even those cancers are often detected by the PSA test. And, once found, many people do get treated since it’s hard to identify just the aggressive tumors. Moreover, treatment often leaves men incontinent, impotent, or both. Perhaps most worrisome, researchers had no hard evidence from randomized clinical trials—the gold standard when it comes to medical research—that routine testing for prostate cancer actually saved lives.”

    Very factual of this publication! Is 20% reduction in deaths inconsequential?

    What about the fact that without PSA testing we would return to diagnosing more metastatic disease? A potential swing of 150%!

    Why is the reduction in PCa mortality since the inception of PSA testing so blatantly ignored?

    How can the non-aggressive cases be identified … when they openly admit “it’s hard to identify just the aggressive tumors.”

    Wow! The headline in the Phoenix Republic this morning was about these studies and Otis Brawley doing us men a “favor.” …

    I agree, there is NO conspiracy …

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