The UK NSC policy on Prostate cancer screening/PSA testing in men over the age of 50
|Last review completed
|Next review due in
|| Systematic population screening programme not recommended
The UK NSC does not recommend screening men for prostate cancer. The reasons for this are given below.
PSA (prostate specific antigen) testing can, however, be performed on request. Information is provided on the risks and benefits by the Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme.
|| Last external review | Policy recommendation statement
What is screening?
Screening is a process of identifying apparently healthy people who may be at increased risk of a disease or condition. They can then be offered information, further tests and appropriate treatment to reduce their risk and/or any complications arising from the disease or condition.
It is important to ensure that the benefits and downsides of screening have been properly thought through. The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) is responsible for reviewing screening policies every 3 years and making recommendations to ministers in the 4 UK countries about whether to not a screening programme for a certain condition should be set up.
» Find out more about screening, the role of the UK NSC or the policy review process
More about Prostate Cancer
The prostate is a small gland in the pelvis that's found only in men. It's located between the penis and the bladder and surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis. The main function of the prostate is to help in the production of semen. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It is responsible for 25% of newly diagnosed cases of cancer in England and Wales. The chances of developing prostate cancer increase as you get older. Most cases develop in men aged 65 or older.
Image © Clinical Skills Ltd and provided courtesy of Cancerbackup.
» Read more about prostate cancer on NHS Choices
» Read more about prostate cancer on Cancerbackup
• The British Association for Cancer Research
• British Association of Urological Nurses
• The British Association of Urological Surgeons
• Cancer Black Care
• Cancer Research UK
• The Prostate Cancer Charity
• Prostate Cancer Support Federation
• Prostate Scotland
• Prostate UK
• Royal College of Physicians
• Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
• Royal College of Surgeons
The stakeholder groups will be involved when the policy is next reviewed.
If you think your organisation should be added, please
More about the policy review process, including the role of stakeholders,
can be found in the guide to Engaging with the UK NSC's policy review process.
Option appraisal: screening for prostate cancer (update - March 2013) (PDF document, 1.13MB, 27/03/13)
Prostate cancer screening recommendation statement (PDF document, 71KB, 30/09/14)
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