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Does PSA screening save lives?

Inviting men with no symptoms to a one-off PSA test for prostate cancer does not save lives, according to results from the largest ever prostate cancer trial.

The research, conducted over 10 years, found that testing asymptomatic men with PSA detects some disease that would be unlikely to cause any harm, but also misses some aggressive and lethal prostate cancers.

The CAP Trial, which spanned almost 600 GP practices and more than 400,000 men, is the largest trial ever to investigate prostate cancer screening.

It compared 189,386 men who were invited to have a one-off PSA test with 219,439 men who were not invited for screening.

After an average of 10 years follow up, there were 8,054 (4.3%) prostate cancers in the screened group and 7,853 (3.6%) cases in the control group.

Crucially, both groups had the same percentage of men dying from prostate cancer (0.29%).

Cancer Research UK, who funded the research, said it highlights the flaws of a single PSA test to screen for prostate cancer.

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