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“The Ministry needs to withdraw the outdated guidelines, provide new ones and invest more resources in encouraging New Zealand men to seek screening from their GP,” trust chair Associate Professor David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traditional arguments against screening – that there is a high risk of false diagnosis and unnecessary treatment – are no longer valid.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: Estère At San Fran

Appearing at Wellington's San Fran to promote her new single, Calculated Risk, the local musician sutured together a highly impressive set of syncopated soul beats, weaving a brilliant dance cloth of iridescent splendour.More>>

Back On The Stairway To Heaven: Led Zeppelin Wins Over Spirit

In March, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeal upheld an original jury finding that Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven did not infringe copyright in Spirit’s 1968 song Taurus. Michael Skidmore, who had filed the suit in 2014 as trustee of the ... More>>


Amazon Original: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm - Trailer And Launch Date

OFFICIAL TRAILER: “BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM: DELIVERY OF PRODIGIOUS BRIBE TO AMERICAN REGIME FOR MAKE BENEFIT ONCE GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN” Film to Launch Globally on October 23rd Exclusively on Amazon Prime Video... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

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