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Evidence-based uncertainty: recent trial results on prostate-specific antigen testing and prostate cancer mortality

David P Smith, Emily Banks, Mark S Clements, Robert A Gardiner and Bruce K Armstrong
Med J Aust 2009; 191 (4): 199-200.
Published online: 17 August 2009

Large-scale randomised controlled trials in Europe and the United States are informing evidence-based clinical advice

Population-wide prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer is not recommended in Australia, primarily because of the lack of large-scale randomised trial evidence of a beneficial effect on prostate cancer mortality and the known harms of overdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment that may ensue. In spite of this, PSA testing is common; the limited evidence available suggests that more than 50% of Australian men over the age of 50 years have had the test.1,2

  • David P Smith1
  • Emily Banks2
  • Mark S Clements2
  • Robert A Gardiner3,4
  • Bruce K Armstrong5

  • 1 Cancer Epidemiology Research Unit, Cancer Council NSW, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT.
  • 3 University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 4 Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 5 School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.

Correspondence: dsmith@nswcc.org.au

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