Prostate cancer: measuring PSA

Intern Med J. 2014 May;44(5):433-40. doi: 10.1111/imj.12407.


Population screening with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) for detection of prostate cancer is a topic associated with ongoing dissent and confusion within the oncology and wider medical community. The PSA blood test has been used in various stages of prostate cancer management, including screening and the assessment of future risk of prostate cancer development, detection of recurrent disease after local therapy and in the management of advanced disease. However, PSA-based decision-making in prostate cancer has significant shortcomings. This review will summarise the evidence and current recommendations for the use of PSA in detection and management of prostate cancer.

Keywords: monitoring; prostate cancer; prostate-specific antigen (PSA); risk assessment; screening.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / blood*
  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis
  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology
  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / urine
  • Australasia / epidemiology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / blood
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Analysis
  • Unnecessary Procedures


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • prostate cancer antigen 3, human
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen