“Critics say the test is too unreliable to be used for routine screening, which is why there is no automatic PSA testing in the UK. Instead, it is used on a case by case basis with men who exhibit symptoms. But the new American study suggests that widespread PSA testing can save lives.
The test is used more often in the US than the UK, though the American Cancer Society no longer recommends it for routine screening.
Scientists studied survival data from prostate cancer trials conducted before and after PSA testing was introduced in 1987. In the two earlier trials, which enrolled patients between 1985 and 1994, typical patient survival was 30 and 33 months.
By the time the later trial was conducted, between 1995 and 2009, survival had increased to 49 months. The risk of death had reduced by around 30%.”