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Eur Urol. 1996;29 Suppl 2:19-23.

Screening and early detection of prostate cancer will decrease morbidity and mortality from prostate cancer: the argument for.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.


Since prostate cancer represents the most common male malignancy and the second most frequent cause of cancer-related mortality, there is a significant need for methods to either reduce the incidence, improve therapy, or provide early detection. Of these, only the latter appears to be currently at hand. Many investigators have demonstrated that early detection programmes, incorporating a carefully performed digital rectal examination and prostate-specific antigen level testing, have resulted in a significant detection rate of clinically relevant malignancy at a time when it is curable. Although problems such as overdetection, lead- and length-time bias, and significant financial burden are associated with prostate cancer screening, if we are to significantly impact the mortality from this disease, such approaches are probably warranted.

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