The European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) showed that Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) based screening results in a significant prostate cancer mortality reduction. Although there are concerns on overdiagnosis and overtreatment, it has been shown that the benefits can outweigh the harms if screening is stopped in older ages to prevent overdiagnosis. A limited screening program (for example screening at ages 55–59 years), including active surveillance for men with low-risk tumors, can even be cost-saving, compared with testing in an opportunistic setting in the wrong ages, as currently in Europe. Further improvements are expected in the use of active surveillance and in discrimination between indolent and significant disease due to new biomarkers and magnetic resonance imaging. However, these future developments are no reason to postpone feasibility studies of high-quality PSA screening and reduce opportunistic testing at old ages.

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International Journal of Cancer
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Heijnsdijk, E., Bangma, C., Borràs, J.M. (Josep M.), de Carvalho Delgado Marques, T., Castells, X. (Xavier), Eklund, M. (Martin), … de Koning, H. (2018). Summary statement on screening for prostate cancer in Europe. International Journal of Cancer, 142(4), 741–746. doi:10.1002/ijc.31102