Overdiagnosis and overtreatment in screening for prostate cancer

In ‘Prostate cancer screening and the management of clinically localized disease’, Timothy J Wilt and Hashim U Ahmed point out that ‘the most effective way to reduce prostate cancer incidence is to reduce prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing or raise thresholds that define abnormality’.

‘Prostate cancer screening with the PSA blood test results in at most a small reduction in prostate cancer mortality and leads to considerable diagnostic and treatment related harms’. They say physicians should recommend against PSA (prostate specific antigen) screening for prostate cancer because ‘most men with prostate cancer detected by PSA testing have tumours that will not cause health problems (overdiagnosed), but almost all undergo early treatment (overtreated).’

BMJ 2013;346:f325



About bmitzi

Medical writer, author, artist. Cancer campaigner. Aiming always to improve health services and bring compassion into health care.
This entry was posted in Campaigns, Compassion in healthcare, patient safety, Screening and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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