Article : Prostate cancer screening in a low prevalence population. Is it worth it?

Mostafa A. Arafa, Karim H. Farhat, Mohamed A. Al-Atawi, Danny M. Rabah


Objectives: To embrace a national screening program for prostate cancer, putting into consideration the cost, and the attitude of the general population towards such screening.

Methods: Men aged greater than 45 and less than 70 years were invited to participate in the current prospective study conducted at  King Saud University Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between December 2014 and July 2015. Those with confirmed high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) (≥4 ng/ml) were referred to the urology clinic, then subjected to magnetic resonance imaging. 

Results:  The total cohort screened were 2898, we  found 118 cases with high PSA (≥4 ng/ml). Fifty-two cases (60.4%) were confirmed high PSA. All of them were subjected to MRI and biopsy. The confirmed prostate cancer were 7 cases (0.24%). The age of confirmed prostate cancer cases ranged from 49 years to 68 years, Gleason score for 4 cases was low grade (3+3), while it was 3+4 for 2 cases, and only one case had advanced cancer (3+5). Approximately 12% of cases with high PSA did not show up for confirmation of their results for further examination. 

Conclusions:  The present study recommends against mass screening among Saudi population; however, men before 50 years of age should start PSA blood testing until before 70 years after discussing the benefits and harms of such screening through shared decision making.

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