Use and assessment of PSA in prostate cancer

Med Clin North Am. 2011 Jan;95(1):191-200. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2010.08.024.


Since the introduction of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening in the late 1980s, more prostate cancers have been detected, and at an earlier stage. As a consequence, the majority of prostate cancers are now detected years before the emergence of clinically evident disease, which usually represents locally advanced or metastatic cancer. PSA screening has remained controversial, because many of the prostate cancers detected are low grade and slow growing. With this long natural history and a median survival without treatment that often approaches at least 15 to 20 years, many clinicians and researchers have questioned if prostate cancer screening and treatment actually improves survival, as many patients will die with prostate cancer rather than of prostate cancer. In this review, the authors discuss the rationale for prostate cancer screening and present the current guidelines for the use of PSA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Continental Population Groups
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen