Washington: A new study has shown that screening for prostate cancer could reduce deaths from the disease by about a fifth.

According to the long-term results of a major European study, screening appeared to reduce prostate cancer deaths by 15 percent at 9 years, and this improved to 22 percent at 11 years, and the risk of advanced prostate cancer was also smaller in the screening group.

Study leader Professor Fritz Schröder from Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands said that PSA screening delivers a substantial reduction in prostate cancer deaths, similar or greater than that reported in screening for breast cancer.

However, doubts remain about whether the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing to reduce mortality outweigh the harms involved, and the authors have concluded that routine PSA screening programmes should not be introduced at this time.

The study was published in The Lancet.

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