Consensus guidelines on prostate cancer screening advises us that in asymptomatic men the digital rectal examination is not recommended. The draft guidelines have been developed by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, Cancer Council Australia, Urologists and Pathologists.

The recommendations are:


  • Two yearly PSA testing for asymptomatic men between the ages of 50 and 69yrs who wish to have screening and are aware of the potential benefits and disadvantages of the test, and investigated further if the level is greater than 3mg/mL
  • PSA nay be offered to men from 45yrs who are at high risk of prostate cancer ( mainly due to family history)
  • Do not test those who are expected to have less than 7 years to live
  • In asymptomatic men requesting screening for early diagnosis of prostate cancer, rectal examination by the GP is not recommended

The new guidelines are intended to provide clarity and help men and their doctors decide whether to undertake PSA screening for prostate cancer detection on the latest available evidence. Despite the PSA test not being considered 

 as accurate enough for population screening on current scientific evidence and there being considerable lack of consensus and confusion within the medical regarding the use of PSA testing, every year more than 20% of Australian men aged between 45 and 75 years have a PSA test .

Following the consultation phase, the draft guidelines will be submitted to the NHMRC for approval.

Health professionals and the public are invited to review and comment on the draft guidelines at

The details regarding the pros and cons associated with PSA testing are available at


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