Uninsured patients likely to have higher PSA levels

Uninsured patients likely to have higher PSA levelsUS researchers reported that more sever disease was likely among patients of prostate cancer who are uninsured or on Medicaid at the time of their diagnosis due to having lesser access to medical care.

To compare insurance status and measures of disease severity: prostate-specific antigen, PSA levels; Gleason score, a higher score means more aggressive cancer and a poorer prognosis; and tumor stage, National cancer database records were analyzed that was from 2004 to 2006 and was of 312,339 prostate cancer patients.

It was seen that higher PSA levels and Gleason scores were seen in patients who were uninsured or Medicare-insured as compared to those with private insurance and these patients were more likely to be diagnosed with advanced cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, compared with 100 per cent for patients diagnosed with localized or regional prostate cancer, the five-year relative survival rate for men with advanced prostate cancer is 30.6 per cent.

American Cancer Society epidemiologist Stacey A. Fedewa said, "Strong associations between insurance and disease severity are likely related to lack of access to preventive services such as PSA screening and barriers to timely medical evaluation of urologic symptoms."