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Keywords:

  • prostate cancer;
  • diagnosis;
  • screening;
  • mortality;
  • patient compliance

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although the true benefits and disadvantages of prostate cancer screening are still not known, the analysis of fatal cases is important for increasing knowledge of the effects of prostate cancer screening on mortality. Who dies from prostate cancer despite participation in a population-based prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening program?

METHODS:

From the Goteborg branch of the European Randomized study of Screening for Prostate Cancer, 10,000 men randomly assigned to active PSA-screening every second year formed the basis of the present study. Prostate cancer mortality was attributed to whether the men were attendees in the screening program (attending at least once) or nonattendees.

RESULTS:

Thirty-nine men died from prostate cancer during the first 13 years. Both overall (34% vs 13 %; P < .0001) and cancer-specific mortality (0.8% vs 0.3 %; P < .005) were found to be significantly higher among nonattendees compared with attendees. Furthermore, the majority of deaths (12 of 18) among screening attendees were in men diagnosed at first screening (prevalent cases). Only 6 deaths (including 3 interval cases) were noted among men complying with the biennial screening program.

CONCLUSIONS:

Nonattendees in prostate cancer screening constitute a high-risk group for both death from prostate cancer and death from other causes comparable to that described in other cancer screening programs. Cancer 2009. © 2009 American Cancer Society.