PSA screen gives survival advantage, but debate persists

However, concerns still persist about whether the benefit is large enough to counter the harms caused by unnecessary biopsies and treatments, which can render men incontinent and impotent. 

The European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) involved over 162,000 men between the ages of 50 and 74 from eight different countries randomised to receive either PSA screening every four years (two years in Sweden), or no intervention. 

Research showed screening reduced the number of men dying from prostate cancer by 15% at nine years, increasing to 22% after 11 years. 

At 13-year follow-up there was no further improvement in the relative reduction in prostate cancer deaths, which decreased by roughly a fifth or 21% in men who were screened, compared with those who were not.

To prevent one death, the number needed to be invited to be screened fell from 1410 at nine years to 781 at 13 years. The risk of advanced