Routine evaluation of prostate size not as effective in cancer screening, Mayo study finds

November 10, 2009

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- New Mayo Clinic research studied the association between prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels and prostate size and found that routine annual evaluation of prostate growth is not necessarily a predictor for the development of prostate cancer. However the study suggests that if a man's PSA level is rising quickly, a prostate biopsy is reasonable to determine if he has prostate cancer. These findings are being presented this week at the North Central Section of the American Urological Association (http://www.ncsaua.org/) in Scottsdale, Ariz.

VIDEO ALERT: Additional audio and video resources are available on the Mayo Clinic News Blog (http://newsblog.mayoclinic.org/2009/11/09/routine-prostate-size-evaluation-not-as-effective-in-cancer-screening/).

These Mayo Clinic study findings were based on data in the Olmsted County Study of Urinary Health Status among Men, a large cohort study of men living in Olmsted County, Minn. Researchers randomly selected 616 men between the ages of 40 and 79 who did not have prostate disease. Patients participated in examinations every two years for 17 years, which included PSA and prostate volume measurements using ultrasound, to determine changes in prostate disease.

"One of the major advantages of this large cohort study is that the men have participated in this study for over 17 years," says Rodney Breau, M.D., a Mayo Clinic urologic oncology fellow who led the study. Because of this, we have the ability to look at long-term relationships between prostate growth, change in PSA and development of prostate cancer."

Of the 616 men, 58 (9.4 percent) developed prostate cancer. Men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer had a faster rise in PSA levels (6 percent/year) compared to men who were not diagnosed with cancer (3.3 percent/year). However, the increase in prostate size was similar between these two groups (median change of 2.2 percent/year).

PSA is a substance produced in the prostate gland. Normally, a small amount of PSA enters the bloodstream. A higher amount of PSA or an abrupt rise in PSA levels can indicate a problem, possibly cancer.

"The question we're trying to answer is, if we see a man with a rising PSA level, could this change in PSA be explained by a proportional increase in prostate size?" says Dr. Breau. "Our data indicate that men with or without prostate cancer have similar rates of prostate growth. If a man's PSA is quickly rising, he likely deserves a prostate biopsy to determine if he has prostate cancer. Assessment of change in prostate size should not influence the decision to biopsy."
-end-
Other Mayo Clinic researchers involved in this study include: R. Jeffrey Karnes, M.D. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/bio/12463493.html); Debra Jacobson; Michaela McGree; Steven Jacobsen, M.D., Ph.D.; Ajay Nehra, M.D. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/bio/12370606.html); Michael Lieber, M.D. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/bio/10203567.html); and Jennifer St. Sauver, Ph.D.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of "the needs of the patient come first." More than 3,700 physicians, scientists and researchers and 50,100 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has sites in Rochester, Minn; Jacksonville, Fla; and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz. Collectively, the three locations treat more than half a million people each year. To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to www.mayoclinic.org/news. For information about research and education, visit www.mayo.edu. MayoClinic.com (www.mayoclinic.com) is available as a resource for your health stories.

Mayo Clinic

Related Prostate Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

Low risk of cancer spread on active surveillance for early prostate cancer
Men undergoing active surveillance for prostate cancer have very low rates - one percent or less - of cancer spread (metastases) or death from prostate cancer, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Urology®, an Official Journal of the American Urological Association (AUA).

ESMO 2020: Breast cancer drug set to transform prostate cancer treatment
A drug used to treat breast and ovarian cancer can extend the lives of some men with prostate cancer and should become a new standard treatment for the disease, concludes a major trial which is set to change clinical practice.

Major trial shows breast cancer drug can hit prostate cancer Achilles heel
A drug already licensed for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancers is more effective than targeted hormone therapy at keeping cancer in check in some men with advanced prostate cancer, a major clinical trial reports.

The Lancet: Prostate cancer study finds molecular imaging could transform management of patients with aggressive cancer
Results from a randomised controlled trial involving 300 prostate cancer patients find that a molecular imaging technique is more accurate than conventional medical imaging and recommends the scans be introduced into routine clinical practice.

Common genetic defect in prostate cancer inspires path to new anti-cancer drugs
Researchers found that, in prostate cancer, a mutation leading to the loss of one allele of a tumor suppressor gene known as PPP2R2A is enough to worsen a tumor caused by other mutations.

First prostate cancer therapy to target genes delays cancer progression
For the first time, prostate cancer has been treated based on the genetic makeup of the cancer, resulting in delayed disease progression, delayed time to pain progression, and potentially extending lives in patients with advanced, metastatic prostate cancer, reports a large phase 3 trial.

Men taking medications for enlarged prostate face delays in prostate cancer diagnosis
University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers report that men treated with medications for benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) experienced a two-year delay in diagnosis of their prostate cancer and were twice as likely to have advanced disease upon diagnosis.

CNIO researchers confirm links between aggressive prostate cancer and hereditary breast cancer
The study has potential implications for families with members suffering from these types of tumours who are at an increased risk of developing cancer.

Distinguishing fatal prostate cancer from 'manageable' cancer now possible
Scientists at the University of York have found a way of distinguishing between fatal prostate cancer and manageable cancer, which could reduce unnecessary surgeries and radiotherapy.

Researchers find prostate cancer drug byproduct can fuel cancer cells
A genetic anomaly in certain men with prostate cancer may impact their response to common drugs used to treat the disease, according to new research at Cleveland Clinic.

Read More: Prostate Cancer News and Prostate Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.