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Study: Prostate testing doesn't cut deaths

LONDON -- The longest study yet on prostate cancer testing provides more evidence that screening doesn't cut the chances of dying from the disease.

In a 20-year study of more than 9,000 Swedish men, researchers found no difference in the rate of prostate cancer deaths between the men who were periodically screened and those who weren't.

For the study, about 1,500 men were randomly selected to be screened every three years from 1987 to 1996. They only got digital exams on the first two visits; the PSA blood test was added for the next two. The remaining 7,532 men were not screened.

During the follow-up, about 6 percent of the screened men and about 4 percent in the non-screened men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. The death rate from prostate cancer was similar in both groups.

Critics say screening leads to unnecessary biopsies and treatment. -- AP


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