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New Zealand prostate cancer awareness programme is likely to increase unnecessary PSA testing, critics say

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f7537 (Published 16 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7537
  1. David Brill
  1. 1Sydney

A national prostate cancer awareness programme in New Zealand has been criticised for glossing over the harms of prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing and of promoting population screening by the “back door.”

The $NZ4.3m (£2.2m; €2.6m; $US3.5m) scheme is intended to provide men with access to evidence based, high quality information to help them decide whether they need their prostate checked.1 Posters and patient information booklets were sent to every general practice in the country last month.

But the resources have prompted an angry reaction, including calls for doctors to boycott the programme outright.

Paul Corwin, a GP in the South Island town of …

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