Screening Strategy May Predict Lethal Prostate Cancer Later in Life

A recent study found that mid-life prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels predict who will be more likely to develop lethal prostate cancer.  Investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that measuring PSA levels in younger men (between the ages of 40 and 59) could accurately predict future risk of lethal prostate cancer later in life.  Their findings suggest that screening PSA levels in men at mid-life may help identify those who are at greater risk and should be monitored more closely. 

This is positive news because prostate cancer screening with PSA has been shown to reduce death and the spread of prostate cancer to other parts of the body, but the PSA test remains highly controversial as it frequently leads to over diagnosis and over treatment of men who may not be at risk.  Smarter screening strategies that can improve the accuracy of diagnosing lethal prostate cancer are urgently needed.  

“The data support the recommendation that risk-stratified screening for prostate cancer based on mid-life PSA should be considered in men aged 45 to 59,” said senior author Lorelei Mucci, ScD, associate professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Our study does not imply prostate biopsy or definitive treatment is immediately required in younger men with higher PSA levels at baseline, as this could lead to over diagnosis.  Rather, these men should undergo more intensive PSA screening to enable earlier identification of cancer and potential cure while still possible.” 

If you, or a loved one, have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, please contact Reno CyberKnife today.  At Reno CyberKnife, we treat prostate cancer with the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System.  CyberKnife is a nonsurgical prostate cancer treatment technology in which high-dose radiation is delivered to the tumor from a linear accelerator mounted on a highly maneuverable robotic arm.  Hundreds of different angles enable the radiation to be contoured to the shape of the prostate, resulting in treatment aimed directly to the prostate gland, avoiding nearby critical anatomy.  This precision reduces treatment time to just five outpatient visits, compared to the average 45 visits conventional radiation therapy requires.  Treatments are quick, painless, and do not require anesthesia or hospitalization.