In their analysis in BMC Medicine, Lloyd et al. provide individual patient lifetime risks of prostate cancer diagnosis and prostate cancer death stratified by ethnicity. This easy to understand information is helpful for men to decide whether to start prostate-specific antigen testing (i.e. screening). A higher lifetime risk of prostate cancer death in some ethnic groups is not automatically a license to start screening. The potential benefit in the form of reducing metastases and death should still be weighed against the potential risk of over diagnosis. In case of ethnicity, this harm-to-benefit ratio does not differ between groups. Stratifying men for screening based on ethnicity is therefore not optimal and will not solve the current screening problem. Other methods for risk-stratifying men have been proven to produce a more optimal harm-to-benefit ratio.

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BMC Medicine
Department of Urology

Bokhorst, L.P, & Roobol-Bouts, M.J. (2015). Ethnicity and prostate cancer: The way to solve the screening problem?. BMC Medicine (Vol. 13). doi:10.1186/s12916-015-0427-z