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The costs and complications of screening for prostate cancer

36 months
Approved budget:
Professor Ross Lawrenson
Health issue:
Cancer (oncology)
Proposal type:
Joint Research Partnership Project
Lay summary
This research will study the pathways of care following an abnormal PSA test for prostate cancer. We will investigate the spectrum of complications arising from the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer and estimate the costs of care to individuals and the health service. Maori men are less likely to be screened and less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, but are twice as likely to die. Our study will use computerised record systems to establish the patterns of PSA testing in 20 general practices across the Midland Region and document what happens to men who have a positive test, comparing Maori and non-Maori. We will then identify a group of men diagnosed with prostate cancer and through detailed questioning and analysis we will measure the complications and adverse health effects following treatment. We will also estimate the economic costs of different treatment strategies in the New Zealand setting.