PSA-based screening for prostate cancer: How does it compare with other cancer screening tests?

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragÖversiktsartikel


Context: Despite the substantive societal impact of prostate cancer, the medical community is currently divided on the balance between benefit and harm of screening for prostate cancer using prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Objective: To examine whether PSA-based screening for prostate cancer meets current guidelines on efficacy and effectiveness for screening, and how it compares with other currently implemented cancer-screening methods. Evidence acquisition: A literature search was conducted for reviews and individual studies that have examined the performance of screening for colorectal, cervical, breast, and prostate cancer. Each screening method was assessed using the United Kingdom National Screening Committee guidelines. Data on screening test performance (sensitivity, specificity, etc) were extracted from these articles for comparison. Evidence synthesis: In common with other cancers for which screening is conducted, prostate cancer represents a significant morbidity and mortality burden. The PSA test can be considered "simple" and "safe" within appropriate boundaries. The sensitivity/specificity profile of PSA is not optimal but has clinical validity: Cases missed at screening detected as interval cases do not have a poor outcome. Early prostate cancer intervention can be beneficial for long-term outcomes, although the benefits need to be weighed against the adverse effects of intervention. Early evidence from screening studies also suggests positive stage and grade shifts, although Level 1 mortality data are still awaited. Robust cost-effectiveness data are still lacking, although current evidence suggests that PSA screening may lie within acceptable limits. Conclusion: Until better markers become available, PSA can be regarded as an appropriate screening tool for prostate cancer at a population level. (C) 2008 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • E. David Crawford
  • Per-Anders Abrahamsson

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Urologi och njurmedicin


Sidor (från-till)262-273
TidskriftEuropean Urology
Utgåva nummer2
StatusPublished - 2008
Peer review utfördJa