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Health: Prostate Cancer

Volume 703: debated on Thursday 10 July 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What conclusions they have drawn from the report in April's edition of Lancet Oncology analysing declining mortality rates from prostate cancer from 1994–2004 in the United States and the United Kingdom, particularly the difference in prostate-specific antigen testing rates of men in 2001 of 57 per cent in the United States and 6 per cent in the United Kingdom. [HL4659]

The authors of the Bristol University report published in Lancet Oncology (April 2008) could not say that the differences in the fall in mortality between the United States of America and the United Kingdom were due to prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing. Other factors, particularly treatment and variations in data collection, may play a significant role, but we have to wait for evidence from randomised controlled trials of prostate cancer screening before we can say that early detection using PSA testing saves lives.