News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Clear Benefits For Prostate Cancer Screening


Media Release
18 December 2007

New Research Shows Clear Benefits For Prostate Cancer Screening

Findings challenge Ministry of Health guidelines


Research by the Cancer Standards Institute of New Zealand concludes that screening for, and early detection of, prostate cancer is highly beneficial for at-risk men and the health system.

In contrast, current Ministry of Health and National Health Committee guidelines do not recommend screening for men who do not have prostate cancer symptoms.

The Cancer Standards Institute urges the Ministry of Health to reconsider its position on prostate cancer screening as soon as possible.

“The Ministry needs to withdraw the outdated guidelines, provide new ones and invest more resources in encouraging New Zealand men to seek screening from their GP,” trust chair Associate Professor David Lamb said.

He said traditional arguments against screening – that there is a high risk of false diagnosis and unnecessary treatment – are no longer valid.

“As this research shows, the scientific understanding of prostate cancer screening and treatment has moved on considerably.

“It is also not good enough to say that prostate cancer is slow growing and may never cause symptoms or early death.”

“The benefits of early diagnosis and treatment are clear. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting New Zealand men and is the third highest cancer killer of New Zealand men. Early diagnosis will lead to fewer deaths, decreased morbidity, and reduced burden on the health care system.”

The research shows that prostate cancers diagnosed by screening are much more likely to be at an early stage, when most can be cured by a number of different treatment options. Therefore the risk of a cancer not being diagnosed until it has spread is reduced by half.

“In New Zealand screening has the potential to save about 200 lives each year, merely by reducing the proportion of patients diagnosed with metastatic disease” said Professor Brett Delahunt, chair of the Institute’s Scientific Committee. “As about 600 men currently die annually from prostate cancer, the resultant reduction in prostate cancer mortality would be substantial”.

The research also shows that the benefits are greatest for men aged 50 to 70, particularly where there is a family history of prostate cancer.

Professor Lamb said the Cancer Standards Institute is not yet recommending a population based screening programme like that for breast cancer as the research to support that was still to be completed.

“What we are saying is that men, particularly those aged 50-70, should feel able to request prostate screening from their GPs, and some men with a family history of prostate cancer should expect to be offered screening. And, we are saying the health authorities need to update their guidance to the community and to medical practitioners.”

The Cancer Standards Institute research, Prostate Cancer: the new evidence base for diagnosis and treatment, has been published in the December edition of the international journal Pathology. It is an analysis of the most current international findings on prostate screening and treatment. The researchers are all Associates of the Cancer Standards Institute.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>


Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland