Should men be screened for Prostate Cancer with a PSA Test

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Professor Mark Frydenberg - PSA test discussion

Professor Mark Frydenberg AM discusses the suitability of PSA-based screening for men in the detection of prostate cancer.

Video Transcript

I’m Mark Frydenberg, one of the urologists at Australian Urology Associates, and I wanted to discuss with you PSA-based screening for prostate cancer.

In another video in our series, I’ve described what the PSA protein is and some of the possible causes of why a PSA may be elevated.

It’s become a very controversial topic over the last 20 to 30 years as to whether PSA-based testing, namely, having a blood test done every one or two years, is a worthwhile thing to assist in the early detection of prostate cancer and to potentially reduce the likelihood of dying of prostate cancer.

It is important to note, that the current National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines do, in fact, recommend prostate cancer testing from age 50 every two years, or earlier if you’ve got a family history. The reason for this is that there’s a very large European study that quite definitely shows around a 20 to 30 percent decreased risk of death from prostate cancer with PSA-based testing.

This is very important, however it’s equally important to identify that this is not equal across all men of all ages. If we have a man that is unlikely to survive seven to ten years, in fact there is very little benefit for PSA-based testing, but for all other men, irrespective of age, if they do have an extended life expectancy, then PSA based testing is worthwhile to discuss with your general practitioner or with your urologist.

Learn more about prostate cancer.