Should we screen for prostate cancer? A re-examination of the evidence

Chris B Del Mar, Paul P Glasziou, Geoffrey H Hirst, Robert G Wright and Tammy C Hoffmann
Med J Aust 2013; 198 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11576
Published online: 3 June 2013

The potential harms from diagnosis, overdiagnosis and treatment must not be overlooked

Despite the results of two large, but conflicting, trials published side by side in 2009, whether prostate cancer screening is beneficial or harmful (or indeterminate) remains unresolved.1,2 Those on either side of the debate read the same information but interpret it differently, declaring that it supports their unchanged positions.

  • Chris B Del Mar1,2
  • Paul P Glasziou1
  • Geoffrey H Hirst3
  • Robert G Wright1
  • Tammy C Hoffmann1

  • 1 Bond University, Gold Coast, QLD.
  • 2 Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Red Book Committee, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 3 Department of Urology and Continence, Mater Health Services, Brisbane, QLD.



Tammy Hoffmann is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Primary Health Care Research, Evaluation and Development Career Development Fellowship (1033038) with funding provided by the Department of Health and Ageing. Paul Glasziou is supported by a NHMRC Australia Fellowship (527500). The funders had no role in the preparation, review and approval of the manuscript.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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