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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Prostate cancer screening. Appropriate choices? Investigators of the American Cancer Society National Prostate Cancer Detection Project.

Early detection of prostate cancer has produced distinct stage migration of prostate cancer to earlier, more curable disease through optimized combined use of digital rectal exam (DRE), transrectal ultrasound, and prostate specific antigen ( PSA). Currently available and emerging data can be assessed according to the World Health Organization's established criteria. As a significant public health problem, prostate cancer meets almost all the criteria for screening. While concerns about incomplete natural history, progression rates, and the need for better prognostic factors are valid, important social and public health issues also need to be considered. If future expenditures for terminal cancer care are minimized via reductions in therapy choices or coverage, no economic benefit for prostate cancer screening should exist. Narrow-focused attempts at cost reduction could inappropriately discourage high risk groups from participating in early detection programs, thereby eliminating the greatest potential benefit. Conversely, the greatest immediate cost-control issue for prostate cancer care in the United States could be the marked increased detection in men older than 75 years of age. Current cost savings are possible with improved public health education about the appropriateness of early detection in the oldest age groups or those with significant preexisting medical conditions. Prostate cancer control perhaps requires a tailored approach of screening in high risk groups and more appropriate "case finding" in the lower risk, general population. The initial combination of PSA and DRE can result in early detection, which is both ethical and economic, for individual patients consulting with informed physicians.[1]


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