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, 31 (2-3), 125-8

Screening for Prostate Cancer

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  • PMID: 7538101

Screening for Prostate Cancer

D Pode et al. Isr J Med Sci.

Abstract

In an attempt to detect prostate cancer when the tumor is still confined to the prostate, a screening program was established. We studied the efficacy of digital rectal examination (DRE) and serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the early detection of prostate cancer. One thousand men aged 50-75 years underwent DRE and serum PSA determination. Transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsies were obtained in each case of a suspicious DRE. Six systematic biopsies were performed if the PSA level was > 10 ng/ml, even if DRE and transrectal ultrasonography revealed no areas suspicious of cancer. A suspicious DRE was noted in 11.5% of the subjects; 16% had elevated levels of serum PSA (> 4 ng/ml) and 3.9% had serum PSA > 10 ng/ml. Biopsies were obtained from 90 patients, of which 31 were positive for prostate cancer. The cancer detection rate was 2.2% for DRE, 2.0% for PSA > 10 ng/ml, and 3.1% for the two methods combined. Clinical staging revealed that in 29 of the 31 patients with prostate cancer, the tumor was confined to the prostate: Stage A in 9 cases and stage B in 20 cases. Only two patients had clinically advanced cancer, and 22 patients underwent radical prostatectomy. Pathological examination disclosed biologically significant tumors in 91% of the cases in terms of tumor volume and grade. Although there is little evidence that screening will result in the reduction of the disease-specific mortality rate, early detection of prostate cancer by DRE, serum PSA, and transrectal ultrasound should be encouraged.

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