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Screening and Early Detection

There is no formal screening program for prostate cancer in Canada since the value of screening in reducing prostate cancer mortality has not been proven.  However, digital rectal examination (DRE) and PSA are not uncommonly done by the family physicians as part of the annual medical check-up.  If screening is done, both DRE and PSA should be performed (3).  Screening may be justifiable in men with high risk of developing prostate cancer e.g. first-degree relative with prostate cancer. There are no established modifiable risk factors (4).

Healthy men between the age of 50 and 70 years should be made aware of prostate cancer screening, and the risks and benefits should be discussed with them.  Screening should be made available to them based on their informed decision.


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