Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. Recently, there has been increased interest in the use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) as a screening test for prostate cancer. The PSA test offers the benefit of a reproducible, objective value that is independent of the examiner's skill; however, it does not seem to be effective alone as a screening test for prostate cancer. Additionally, the efficacy of treatment for prostate cancer with radiation therapy or radical prostatectomy remains to be demonstrated. Thus, further studies demonstrating an improved mortality in prostate cancer with PSA screening need to be performed before universal screening with PSA can be recommended. Meanwhile, education of the patient regarding the risks, benefits, and costs of PSA screening and subsequent treatment should be addressed before performing a PSA test.
(Arch Intern Med. 1993;153:2529-2537)