Overdiagnosis and overtreatment of early detected prostate cancer

World J Urol. 2007 Mar;25(1):3-9. doi: 10.1007/s00345-007-0145-z. Epub 2007 Feb 14.


Early detection of prostate cancer is associated with the diagnosis of a considerable proportion of cancers that are indolent, and that will hardly ever become symptomatic during lifetime. Such overdiagnosis should be avoided in all forms of screening because of potential adverse psychological and somatic side effects. The main threat of overdiagnosis is overtreatment of indolent disease. Men with prostate cancer that is likely to be indolent may be offered active surveillance. Evaluation of active surveillance studies and validation of new biological parameters for risk assessment are expected.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Early Diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Risk Factors
  • Unnecessary Procedures / trends*