TUESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Routine prostate cancer screening appears to significantly reduce the risk of metastatic disease within 10 years of prostate cancer treatment, according to a study to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, held from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 in San Diego.
Chandana A. Reddy, of the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues evaluated data from 1,721 prostate cancer patients who were treated with radiotherapy or underwent radical prostatectomy between 1986 and 1996. Routine screening for prostate cancer was first advocated in 1992, so patients were divided into two groups based on when they were treated: the pre-screening era (1986 to 1992) or the post-screening era (1993 to 1996).
The researchers found that 13 percent of all patients had developed metastatic disease within 10 years of treatment. The 10-year metastases-free survival rates (MFSR) for patients treated in the pre-screening era were 58 percent for high risk, 79 percent for intermediate risk, and 90 percent for low risk. Among those treated in the post-screening era, the 10-year metastases-free survival rates were 82 percent for high risk, 93 percent for intermediate risk, and 98 percent for low risk.
"Our study shows that routine screening not only improves the patient's quality of life by stopping metastatic disease, but it also decreases the burden of care for this advanced disease that must be provided by the health care system," Reddy said in a statement. "This demonstrates that the prostate-specific antigen test is extremely valuable in catching the disease earlier and allowing men to live more productive lives after treatment."