Nation-wide prostate cancer screening rejected

The health select committee has advised the government not to implement a national prostate cancer screening programme, but instead promote active monitoring at the GP level.

The committee made their recommendations in a report released yesterday, based on their inquiry into early detection and treatment of prostate cancer initiated in May 2009. The committee determined that blanket use of prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests would be unwise, given the test’s lack of sensitivity. Not all men who exhibit high PSA levels go on to develop prostate cancer.

The committee instead recommended “that the Ministry of Health encourage and promote the case for men to seek up-to-date evidence-based information from their general practitioners about the advantages and disadvantages of screening and treatment for prostate cancer”.

The report has drawn both praise and criticism, as can be seen in the following media coverage: Prostate cancer screening programme discounted

NewsTalkZB: More action needed for prostate cancer

Otago Daily Times: Prostate cancer report discord

New Zealand Herald: Prostate cancer report a life saver

Radio New Zealand: MPs call for better quality prostate cancer screening

Press: Prostate screening urged in 40s