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Update on screening for prostate cancer

 

UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) evidence review update on screening for prostate cancer

For immediate release, 11 March 2010

On 23 June 2009, the UKNSC commissioned the Sheffield School of Health And Related Research (ScHARR) to produce an independent academic analysis of the European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer and new data from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial in the United States.

On the 10 March 2010, the UKNSC reviewed the analysis conducted by ScHARR and following discussion, members supported the need for some further refinement of the modelling to look at the costs, benefits and impact on the NHS of screening different age ranges for prostate cancer.  The work will be presented to the next UK NSC meeting in June and will be followed by public consultation before the UKNSC makes a formal policy recommendation to Ministers in the autumn.

Speaking at the UK NSC meeting on 10 March 2010, UK NSC Programme Director Dr Anne Mackie stated:

"The Committee will review ScHARR's report in June and make a final recommendation to Ministers in the autumn, following a consultation on the findings.

"Advice on screening policy is based on the latest research evidence, and informed by a range of groups including healthcare professionals and patient representatives.

"Currently the NHS Cancer Screening Programme provides advice to help men who are concerned about prostate cancer to make informed decisions about their health, and until a final review of the evidence is made, the policy remains the same and men will be looked after under the risk management programme which is currently in place ."

Professor Julietta Patnick CBE, Director of the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes said:

"Currently, the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes provides information to patients and GPs about Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing for prostate cancer through the Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme (PCRMP). We redeveloped the PCRMP pack last year allowing primary care practitioners to provide the latest advice to their patients, helping men to make an informed decision about whether or not to have a PSA test. This pack can be found on our website: (http://www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/prostate/pcrm-aim.html).

"In the meantime, men should speak to their GP if they have any concerns. Any man over the age of 50 who, after careful consideration of the implications, requests a PSA test should be given one."

Ends

Notes to editors

1.  The UK National Screening Committee

The UK National Screening Committee is chaired by the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland and advises Ministers and the NHS in all four UK countries about all aspects of screening policy and supports implementation.

Using research evidence, pilot programmes and economic evaluation, it assesses the evidence for programmes against a set of internationally recognised criteria. Assessing programmes in this way is intended to ensure that they do more good than harm at a reasonable cost.

2.  The Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme

The NHS Cancer Screening Programmes' office currently provides information to patients and GPs about Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing and treatment for prostate cancer through the Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme (PCRMP).

http://www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/prostate/informationpack.html

The view the links to the packs in Scotland:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Health/health/cancer/publications

 
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