The PLCO trial confirmed diagnoses of prostate cancer through medical record abstraction (MRA) of men suspected by the trial to have prostate cancer. MRA was triggered by:
- A self-report of prostate cancer on an Annual Study Update (ASU)
- Abnormal suspicious PSA or DRE screening
- Death certificate indicates prostate cancer
- No trial indication of prostate cancer, but Death Review Committee suspects prostate cancer based on other indicators
- Relative informs screening center of participant's cancer (this is infrequent)
Note that if the MRA process does not find records indicating prostate cancer diagnosis, even if a source such as a death certificate indicates prostate cancer, the prostate cancer is not considered confirmed.
Clinical stage is almost always available (99% of prostate cancers). Pathologic stage is only available for men who had a prostatectomy (36% of prostate cancers).
Gleason scores were collected from both biopsies (98%) and prostatectomies (36%) and assessed at pathology labs local to the screening center. Gleason information was only captured on a 2 to 10 scale; primary and secondary Gleason scores were not captured individually.
Cancer diagnosis data can be obtained within the Prostate dataset.