What's the Latest Development?

A follow up study on an eye-opening 2009 report confirms that routine screening for prostate cancer does not save lives. At the very least, researchers said that any longevity benefits were modest and included a significant risk of over diagnosis. "The new study updates the old one, confirming the finding that there's still no mortality difference between the screened and non-screened groups, even after the roughly 75,000 men in the study have been followed for 13 years."

 

What's the Big Idea?

Clearly there will be some cases where screening for prostate cancer will be beneficial but when weighing the risks of screening versus not screening over an entire population, researchers have concluded that risks of screening, including impotence and incontinence, are too high given the relative unreliability of prostate screening technology. For example, "current screening techniques cannot distinguish well between prostate cancers that will soon be dangerous and those that will not."

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