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OBJECTIVES: PSA is a frequently used marker in the daily clinical practice for the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer. We analysed the use of PSA in our health department in patients with and without prostate cancer diagnosis.
METHODS: The registry of all PSA petitions in our health department during 2011 and 2012 was used. Demographic data were used to establish each year’s population and the data corresponding to the prevalence of prostate cancer patients, performing a descriptive study. Thus, the use of PSA in patients with or without prostate cancer was studied.
RESULTS: 25.700 PSA petitions are issued annually in our department over a total of 67.000 males older than 45. This entails a cost of 332.815 Euros annually. Within the group of patients with no prostate cancer diagnosis, it was noticed that the percentage of individuals with at least one annual PSA petition per decade of age is of 23% in males in their fifties, 40% in their sixties, 46% in their seventies, and 36% in their eighties or successive decades. Furthermore, in these cancer-free patients, around 3.800 annual petitions fall on individuals over 75 and with PSA under 4 ng/ml, from which 20% are repeated petitions over the same individual in the same year. Over 1100 males under 45 have an annual PSA. Regarding the average PSA value for decade of age in cancer-free patients, it is of 0.89 +/- 0.4ng/ml in the forties decade, 1.26 +/- 1.07 ng/ml in the fifties, 1.67 +/- 1.38 ng/ml in the sixties, 1.96 +/- 1.78 ng/ml in the seventies, and 2.24 +/- 2.16 ng/ml in the eighties. We ascertained, also, that for every 144 PSA petitions one prostate cancer case is diagnosed. Regarding the use of this marker in cancer patients, 1.800 petitions are destined to patients follow up annually, and over 200 fall on the newly diagnosed cases.
CONCLUSIONS: Even though annually less than 50% of males get PSA petitions in any decade of age, its use is sometimes incorrect, including repeated petitions in a short period of time or in individuals of extreme age.
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