Organised Prostate Cancer Testing (OPT) in Sweden to detect prostate cancer early

Organised prostate cancer testing to detect prostate cancer early

Prostate cancer ranks as the second most common cancer among men worldwide. Although the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare does not recommend a nationwide screening program, they emphasize that the healthcare system can enhance the knowledge by providing organized prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing within research and development frameworks.

Organized Prostate Cancer Testing (OPT) is a recent initiative in Sweden that seeks to identify prostate cancer at an early stage. OPT projects were launched in multiple regions in 2020, including Region Skåne, Västra Götaland Region, and Västerbotten Region. In 2022, Region Stockholm and Region Gotland started a joint organized project, offering OPT on an annual basis. By the end of 2023, it is anticipated that 17 of Sweden’s 21 regions will have implemented some form of OPT project.

Who is eligible for testing?

A fully-fledged OPT program should encompass all men aged 50 to 74 years, with testing suggested to commence at 50 years of age.

Hereditary risk group

National Clinical Prostate Cancer Guidelines advise that men in the hereditary risk group begin PSA testing earlier (at 40 years old), with more frequent tests and a lower PSA threshold for evaluation by a urologist. This necessitates special procedures for men in the hereditary risk group participating in OPT projects.

What is included in OPT?

The early detection of prostate cancer involves a testing process that may consist of up to three stages. The first stage is a PSA test that requires a blood sample. If the PSA value is high, a magnetic camera examination is performed as the second stage. If any abnormalities are found during the magnetic camera examination, tissue sampling is conducted in the third stage. Participants are also monitored at various annual intervals based on their individual test results.

Are there any costs associated with OPT examinations?

The fees for a PSA test within the OPT framework are determined by the respective regions.

Is there a genetic test for prostate cancer?

Besides the PSA test, genetic testing can be employed to evaluate an individual’s risk of developing prostate cancer. This testing examines specific genes linked to a higher likelihood of developing prostate cancer. The outcomes of genetic testing can assist individuals in making informed choices regarding their prostate cancer screening and management options. At Eiira, both Classic and Premium genetic profile services include genetic tests to detect hereditary risks for prostate cancer

In conclusion, organised prostate cancer testing (OPT) is a new initiative in Sweden that aims to detect prostate cancer early. Men who turn 50 years old and have a male social security number are automatically offered testing for the early detection of prostate cancer. In addition to the PSA test, genetic testing for prostate cancer risk is also available. The results of genetic testing can help individuals make informed decisions about their prostate cancer screening and management options.