Prostate cancer screening: evidence synthesis and update (INAHTA Joint Project)

Schersten T, Baile M A, Asua J, Jonsson E
Record ID 31999009745
English, Spanish
Original Title: Detección precoz de cáncer de próstata: síntesis y actualización de la evidencia
Authors' objectives: To summarize scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of mass screening for prostate cancer.
Authors' results and conclusions: Prostate cancer is a significant public health problem with a considerable human burden and high costs for society. The incidence of prostate cancer seems to be increasing in most countries because of better diagnostic test and more frequent use of them, particularly the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, an aging of the population, and probably a true increase in incidence. Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and many men with the disease will never experience problems from it since they will not live long enough for the cancer to achieve clinical significance. There are no methods available to differentiate between early slow-growing, benign cancers and early aggressive, life-threatening cancers. For localized prostate cancer there are three major types of management: radical prostatectomy, radiotherapy, and watchful waiting. The active treatments, radical prostatectomy and radiotherapy, are both associated with significant side effects. There is no evidence that mass screening for prostate cancer improve survival. Reported survival improvements for men with early-stage disease might well be explained by length bias or other statistical artifacts rather than by true clinical advances and better outcome.
Authors' recommendations: Mass screening for prostate cancer is not recommended because of lack of evidence regarding the benefits and the considerable risks of adverse effects of subsequent treatment.
Authors' methods: Synthesis of the nine eight systematic reviews of scientific evidence on prostate cancer screening undertaken by Health Technology Assessment (HTA) agencies member of INAHTA, and other relevant systematic reviews. High quality primary studies were added to the synthesis to update the information.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 1999
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Spain
MeSH Terms
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Mass Screening
  • Prostatic Neoplasms
  • Prostatic Neoplasms
Organisation Name: Basque Office for Health Technology Assessment
Contact Address: C/ Donostia – San Sebastián, 1 (Edificio Lakua II, 4ª planta) 01010 Vitoria - Gasteiz
Contact Name: Lorea Galnares-Cordero
Contact Email:
Copyright: <p>Osteba (Basque Office for Health Technology Assessment), Health Department of the Basque Government</p>
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.