Advertisement

How reliable are the screening tests for prostate cancer?

Neither of the screening tests for prostate cancer is perfect. Most men with an elevated PSA level do not have prostate cancer (false positives), and some men with prostate cancer have a low PSA level (false negatives). The DRE is also associated with false positives and false negatives. Using the DRE and PSA together will miss fewer cancers (greater sensitivity) but also increases the number of false positives and subsequent biopsies in men without cancer (lower specificity).

The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) has a Prostate Collaborative Group that is exploring a variety of strategies to find better ways to detect prostate cancer early. In addition, NCI's prostate cancer Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) is funding projects to identify new diagnostic and prognostic biological markers, or biomarkers, of prostate cancer besides PSA.

This answer is based on source information from the U.S National Institutes of Health.  

 

Continue Learning about Prostate Cancer

Beyond Active Surveillance for Early Prostate Cancer
Beyond Active Surveillance for Early Prostate Cancer
More and more guys with early-stage prostate cancer—the kind that may never grow enough to need treatment—are choosing a smart, proven strategy called...
Read More
What is prostate cancer?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
Prostate cancer is a common cancer among men and can be difficult to detect in its early stages. It ...
More Answers
What are the different stages of prostate cancer?
Riverside Cancer Care CenterRiverside Cancer Care Center
Stage refers to the extent of the cancer. Early prostate cancer, stages I and II, is localized. It h...
More Answers
What Are the Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer?
What Are the Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.