June 13, 2024

New Study Finds Rectal Examination Offers No Advantage Over PSA Blood Test for Prostate Cancer Screening

A recent study conducted by the Comprehensive Cancer Center Vienna of MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital has shed light on the effectiveness of common screening methods for the early detection of prostate cancer. The study, led by Shahrokh F. Shariat from the Department of Urology at MedUni Vienna and University Hospital Vienna, revealed that rectal examination does not offer any advantages over the PSA blood test when it comes to detecting prostate cancer.

However, many men refrain from undergoing rectal screening, and previous research has suggested that DRE, either on its own or in conjunction with the PSA test, may not be as effective as initially believed.

To further investigate the matter, this new study analyzed and combined data from eight different studies, involving a total of 85,738 participants. The findings indicate that DRE, both as a standalone method or in combination with PSA, may not be more effective than PSA testing alone in the early detection of prostate cancer. Specifically, DRE alone showed a lower cancer detection rate (CDR) compared to the PSA test.

These results suggest that digital rectal examination may not be as effective as previously hoped for in the routine screening of prostate cancer, particularly in the absence of specific symptoms or signs. As a result, there is now a debate surrounding the effectiveness and benefits of rectal examination in the early detection of prostate cancer.

Shahrokh Shariat, the Head of the Department of Urology at MedUni Vienna and University Hospital Vienna, and leader of the international study, highlights the need for further research to identify the best screening methods for the early detection of prostate cancer. He notes, “The validity of rectal examination in detecting prostate cancer is not particularly impressive, suggesting that it may not be necessary to perform this examination routinely as part of screening in the absence of clinical symptoms and signs.” Shariat emphasizes the importance of continuous improvement in prostate cancer screening methods, with the ultimate goal of safeguarding the health and well-being of men worldwide. The hope is that, by removing the barrier of rectal examination, more men will be encouraged to undergo prostate cancer screening.

In conclusion, the study reveals that rectal examination does not offer any advantages over the PSA blood test in the early detection of prostate cancer. The findings call into question the routine use of rectal examination as a screening method, particularly in the absence of specific symptoms or signs. Further research is needed to develop more effective methods for prostate cancer screening and to ensure the health and well-being of men worldwide.

Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it