New Research Finds Decrease in Prostate Cancer Diagnoses

Categories: Summer/Fall 2016
The Winter 2015 QUEST reported on a study from Vanderbilt University that found a significant drop in new diagnoses of prostate cancer in the period following the USPSTF recommendation against PSA testing. Recently, an additional study came to similar conclusions.

Research led by Matthew J. Maurice, MD at the Cleveland Clinic identified cases of clinically localized prostate cancer from 2010-2013 to assess current trends in prostate cancer diagnosing and treatment.

The study found a decrease in the number of cases of diagnosed prostate cancer, from 90,419 cases in 2011 to 71,945 in 2013. The study authors observed a decline across all age and risk groups. However, the greatest declines were in men younger than 70 years and men with low-risk prostate cancer, for which diagnoses decreased by 21% and 36% respectively.

The data came from the US National Cancer Data Base, a nation-wide hospital-based cancer registry.

In 2012, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended against prostate cancer screening with PSA tests to reduce over-diagnosis and over-treatment. The study authors noted that although prostate cancer detection decreased most for men with low-risk disease, the decreased cases of high-risk prostate cancer suggested under- diagnosis. The authors wrote, “Decreased detection of lethal prostate cancer, especially among younger men, represents a possible missed opportunity for curative treatment. This alarming trend suggests that if the USPSTF recommendation is followed, more high- risk PC will go undetected and more men with potentially treatable cancers will experience PC morbidity and mortality.”

The data was presented in a research letter published in JAMA Oncology online in June.

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