A continuous fall of PSA use for prostate cancer screening among Brazilian doctors since 2001. Good or bad notice?

Vol. 45 (x): 2019 March 3.[Ahead of print]

doi: 10.1590/S1677-5538.IBJU.2018.0179


Fernando Antônio Glasner da Rocha Araújo 1, Nairo Massakazu Sumita 2, Ubirajara de Oliveira Barroso Jr. 3, 4
1 Departamento de Medicina, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, BA, Brasil; 2 Divisão de Química Clínica, Fleury Medicina e Saúde, São Paulo, SP, Brasil; 3 Departamento de Cirurgia Especial, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, BA, Brasil; 4 Escola Bahiana de Medicina e Saúde Pública, Salvador, BA, Brasil


Purpose: To evaluate the trend of use of Prostate Specifi c Antigen (PSA) for screening of prostate cancer (PC) among Brazilian doctors, from the beginning of its regular availability in clinical laboratories.

Material and Methods: A serial cross-sectional study was performed using data obtained from a large database between 1997 and 2016. The general PSA screening trend during this period, adjusted for the total number of exams performed in men, was analyzed.

Time-series analysis was performed through observation of the general regression curve using the generalized least squares method, and the impact of the recommendations was assessed with autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models.

Results: During the period studied 2,521,383 PSA determinations were done. The age of the participants ranged from 21 to 111 years, with an average of 56.7 ± 22.7 years. The relative number of PSA tests/100.000 exams in males showed a constant reduction since 2001, and this trend was more evident in the group aged 55-69 years. Although statistically signifi cant, the impact of reduced PSA screening after the 2012 USPSTF publication was clinically irrelevant.

Conclusions: Our results indicated a continuous reduction in the use of PSA screening over time, regardless of the publication of recommendations or clinical guidelines. The fact that this trend was more pronounced among those with a greater benefi t potential (55-69 years), relative to groups with a greater damage potential due to overdiagnosis and overtreatment (aged >74 years and <40 years), is a matter of concern. Follow-up studies of these trends are advisable.

Keywords: Prostatic Neoplasms; Prostate-Specifi c Antigen; Mass Screening

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