Canadian panel recommends against PSA screening

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 30 October 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6556
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

The prostate specific antigen (PSA) test should not be used to screen for prostate cancer, the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care has said. “Available evidence does not conclusively show that PSA screening will reduce prostate cancer mortality, but it clearly shows an increased risk of harm,” the task force said.

The task force is an independent panel established by the Public Health Agency of Canada to develop clinical practice guidelines for preventive services provided in primary care. The panel’s recommendations, which were based on a systematic review, were published online on 27 October by CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.1

“Unfortunately the PSA test is simply not an effective screening tool,” said Neil Bell, chair of the guideline working group …

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