Drugs may cause errors in prostate screening tests

August 6, 2010 2:17:00 PM PDT
Some of the most widely prescribed drugs in the U.S. may skew results on prostate screening tests. Researchers say it can cause errors in diagnosis.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like cholesterol-lowering statins, painkillers, and some diuretics can actually lower a person's prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, levels.

Since higher PSA levels are a factor when diagnosing prostate cancer, doctors treating patients on the medications can have trouble screening for cancer.

Authors of a new study say the longer patients were on the medications, the more their PSA levels dropped.

Experts say it underscores the importance of multiple screenings over time to diagnose prostate cancer.

The study is published in the Online Journal of Clinical Oncology.


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