The prostate gland is a gland about the size of
chestnut. It is present below the urinary bladder encircling the urethra in
males. The prostate gland produces and stores the seminal fluid. The seminal
fluid nourishes the sperms. It also dissolves the mucus around the cervix and
facilitates the smooth entry of sperms in the female reproductive organs.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is also known as
kallikrein-3(KLK3) or gamma- seminoprotein. It is concerned with the
liquefaction of semen and permits the free swimming of sperms in the seminal
Prostate cancer is the commonest cancer in males and
is detected early by checking the levels of PSA.
present in the serum of healthy men and its values are markedly increased in
called the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer published
in New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has revealed PSA testing is effective
in lowering the mortality associated with prostate cancer over an 11-year span.
Data on 182,160 adult men who were aged
between 50 to 74 years from eight European countries was taken into account for
the purpose of this study. The participants were divided randomly into two
groups, one which underwent PSA screening, and the second which was not offered
The two groups were followed up for a
period of 11 years. The researchers were specifically looking for mortality due
to prostate cancer.
A total of 6963 prostate cancers were
diagnosed in the screened group, and 5396 cancers were diagnosed in the
non-screened group. Two hundred and ninety nine people died due to prostate cancer
in the screened group, where as 462 people died in the non-screened group due
to prostate cancer. The overall mortality due to all causes was similar in the
found that there was a significant decrease in men dying from prostate cancer
in PSA screened group in contrast to non-screened group. The conclusion drawn
from the study was that PSA screening can decrease mortality due to prostate
cancer. More data is required to assess the benefits and disadvantages of
routine PSA screening in the general population, before it can be widely
Mortality at 11 Years of Follow-up; Fritz Schroder et al; N
Engl J Med 2012; 366:981-990; March 2012