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Environ Health Prev Med. 2000 Oct;5(3):111-7. doi: 10.1265/ehpm.2000.111.

Cost-effectiveness analysis of prostate cancer screening.

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Department of Preventive Medicine, St.Marianna University School of Medicine, 2-16-1 Sogao Miyamae-ku Kawasaki, 216-8511, Kanagawa, Japan.


To determine the optimal strategy for prostate cancer screening, the cost-effectiveness of screening was analyzed using a medical decision model. One hundred thousand asymptomatic males between the ages of 40 and 69 were modeled with and without screening. The subjects were divided into three 10-year age groups. We used a 5-year survival rate as an effectiveness point and assumed after 5 year survival free from prostate cancer. We considered three potential programs: 1) screening with digital rectal examination (DRE), 2) screening with prostate specific antigen (PSA), and 3) screening with a combination of DRE and PSA. The study was analyzed from the payer's perspective, and only direct medical costs were included. For each of the three age groups, PSA screening was more cost-effective than either DRE screening or a combination of DRE and PSA screening. The cost-effectiveness ratio for the combination of DRE and PSA screening was 1.1-2.3 times more expensive dian that of PSA screening. If the compliance rate for work-up exams is 80%, the cost-effectiveness of prostate cancer screening is approximate to that of gastric cancer screening. In conclusion, PSA screening is the most cost-effective strategy for prostate cancer screening when compared with both DRE and the combination of DRE and PSA screening. But prostate cancer screening should be carefully conducted, taking the cost-effectiveness of the different strategies and target groups into consideration.


cost-effectiveness analysis; digital rectal examination (DRE); prostate cancer; prostate cancer screening; prostate specific antigen (PSA)

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