Prostate-specific antigen in the early detection of prostate cancer

Ian M. Thompson, Donna P. Ankerst

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Throughout Canada, the United States and much of Europe, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer has proliferated over the past 2 decades, leading to dramatic increases in detection rates of prostate cancer. Although it has unquestionably led to increased detection of cancer and a migration to lower-stage and -volume tumours, it is still unknown whether PSA screening significantly reduces mortality from prostate cancer. Often thought to be dichotomous (i.e., either normal or elevated), PSA measurements actually reflect cancer risk, with the risks of cancer and of aggressive cancer increasing with the level of PSA. The recently developed risk calculator from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, which integrates family history of prostate cancer, digital rectal examination findings, PSA test result, age, ethnicity, and history of a prior prostate biopsy with a negative result, allows clinicians to assess a patient's individual risk of cancer. This risk should be examined in the context of a patient's life expectancy and comorbidity as well as his concern about the possibility of prostate cancer. The terms "normal" and "elevated" as descriptors of PSA results should be abandoned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1853-1858
Number of pages6
JournalCMAJ. Canadian Medical Association Journal
Issue number13
StatePublished - 19 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Prostate-specific antigen in the early detection of prostate cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this