The benefits of population-based prostate cancer screening are the detection of clinically important prostate cancers at an early, still curable, stage and the subsequent reduction of prostate cancer-specific mortality. However, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based prostate cancer screening program is currently insufficient to warrant its introduction as a public health policy. The main reasons are insufficient knowledge regarding the optimal screening strategy and overdiagnosis and overtreatment of indolent prostate cancers that are unlikely to lead to complaints or death. In some countries, guidelines have been developed on screening for prostate cancer, but the diversity of recommendations illustrates the limited knowledge on the optimal strategy. Therefore, men should be well informed about the benefits and potential harms of PSA screening in order to enable them to make an informed decision. Although a mortality reduction can be achieved by early detection of prostate cancer, patients and physicians must be aware of the current side effects of screening. Algorithms that advise screening at a young age (<55 years), with screening intervals of less than 4 years and low PSA thresholds (<3 ng/ml) for prostate biopsy seem premature and are not supported by evidence.

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Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Vugt, H., Bangma, C., & Roobol-Bouts, M. (2010). Should prostate-specific antigen screening be offered to asymptomatic men?. Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy (Vol. 10, pp. 1043–1053). doi:10.1586/era.10.64