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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2004 Apr;50(1):71-8.

Update on screening for prostate cancer with prostate-specific antigen.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Kantonsspital, CH-9007 St. Gallen, Switzerland. hans-peter.schmid@kssg.ch

Abstract

Serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) determination in conjunction with digital rectal examination (DRE) is recommended by the majority of clinical guidelines for early detection(opportunistic screening) of prostate cancer provided the patient is well informed and has a life-expectancy of at least 10 years. The major disadvantage of PSA is its lack of specificity. Various static and dynamic concepts have been developed to improve the diagnostic performance of PSA of which free/total PSA ratio and PSA doubling time seem to be the most promising. Apart from early detection, population screening(mass screening) is a distinct topic. The effect of the latter one with regard to reduction of prostate cancer specific mortality and quality of life issues is not yet clear. Several national and international prospective trials are currently being conducted to answer these important questions but results will only be available in a few years.

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