PSA testing common among elderly men

Researchers from the Cancer Councils of NSW and WA have released preliminary survey data showing that among 212 men aged over 75, 20% reported having a PSA test for screening purposes in the prior year.

This figure jumped to 35% having been screened in the previous two years.

The study design excluded PSA tests done for non-screening purposes such as follow-up monitoring.

“There are three different [PSA test-related] Medicare items and we used the one that was for screening purposes only,” Associate Professor Dianne O’Connell, a Cancer Council NSW senior epidemiologist said.

“Given that it is not recommended, the question is why are these men continuing to be tested and we can’t answer that directly.”

The data, extracted from a survey of PSA screening covering a broader age group, will be presented this week at the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia (COSA) 38th annual scientific meeting