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PSA Testing for Prostate Cancer in Asymptomatic Men: Information for Health Practitioners submission

This submission reflects the views of
Organisation Name: 
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Personal Details
General Comments
18. Considering the Information Document is for Health Practitioners, do you have any other comments?: 

To whom it may concern:

Thank you for providing the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) with the opportunity to comment on the NHMRC document ‘Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Testing for Prostate Cancer in Asymptomatic Men: Information for Health Practitioners’.

The content of the document is in line with the College’s recommendations on prostate cancer screening, as articulated in our Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice 8th edition (the red book). The College has been criticized for its position on screening and we have called for comprehensive, evidenced-based, balanced and authoritative guidance in this controversial area. We believe the NHMRC document fulfills this role. The RACGP therefore welcomes the document and believes it will be a useful tool for general practitioners.

We have the following suggestions for improvement:

  • In the Summary on page 1 column 2, it would be worth noting that effects of PSA testing on quality of life are unknown.


  • More information on what the evidence says about age and testing should be included. The first page provides statistics for low risk men age 60. It should be clear whether the figures are very different at age 50 and age 40, given that some groups are advocating for earlier testing.


  • The document should define 'low risk' when it talks about men age 60 as it then talks about what to do with those who are deemed higher risk.


  • It would be useful to have a FAQs section, in particular, for the above questions, which are common in general practice.


I again thank you for this opportunity and encourage you to contact (personal details removed) should you have any queries.

Yours Sincerely

Page reviewed: 4 March, 2014