Should mass screening for prostate cancer be introduced at the national level?

Davidson, P. and Gabbay, J. (2004) Should mass screening for prostate cancer be introduced at the national level? , Copenhagen, Denmark WHO Regional Office for Europe’s Health Evidence Network (HEN) (Health Evidence Network (HEN) Synthesis Report).


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The issue Prostate cancer is a major cause of death among men, with over 56,000 deaths in the European Union in 1998. There are no obvious preventive strategies, therefore screening has been considered to reduce the number of deaths. Opportunistic screening is widely carried out but there are no known national programmes to screen for prostate cancer. Findings There are no completed randomized screening trials, although two are underway. Evidence from nonrandomized studies suggests possible benefit, but these results may not be reliable due to bias or alternative explanations. The main areas of uncertainty are the natural history of the disease, which appears relatively benign in many cases, and appropriate treatment for positive screened cases. Policy considerations Mass screening should not be introduced at the national level, unless supportive evidence is available from the ongoing screening or treatment trials.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Related URLs:
Keywords: prostatic neoplasms, mass screening, national health programs, health policy, decision support techniques
ePrint ID: 61752
Date :
Date Event
May 2004Published
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2008
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 17:30
Further Information:Google Scholar

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