Prostate Cancer Screening with the PSA Test

The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care (CTFPHC) recommends against screening for prostate cancer with the PSA test.

The CTFPHC found that the potential small benefit from PSA screening is outweighed by the potential significant harms of the screening and associated follow-up treatment:

 

 

 

 

 

Complications of treatment for prostate cancer

For every 1,000 men who receive treatment for prostate cancer:

  • 114-214 will have short-term complications such as infections, additional surgeries, and blood transfusions
  • 127-442 will experience long-term erectile dysfunction
  • Up to 178 will experience urinary incontinence
  • 4-5 will die from complications of prostate cancer treatment

What are the risks if I don’t get screened?

Among men who are screened with the PSA test, the risk of dying from prostate cancer is 5 in 1,000. Among men who are not screened with the PSA test, the risk of dying from prostate cancer is 6 in 1,000.

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