The Early Detection and Treatment of Prostate Cancer: The Perspective of the Canadian Task Force on The Periodic Health Examination
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Few would challenge the important health burden associated with prostate cancer. This concern, combined with the emergence of a biochemical test that has the potential for early detection, has fueled enthusiasm for concerted efforts aimed at early detection and treatment of prostate cancer. Reflecting the approach and perspective of the Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examination, this report argues for the objective evaluation of evidence to address the question of whether to initiate and promote early detection campaigns for prostate cancer. Specifically, 3 questions are addressed: "what is the goal of early detection?", "how should the existing evidence be evaluated?" and "how should evidence guide our actions and policies?". After reviewing the evidence using its standardized rules of evidence, the Canadian Task Force has concluded that there presently is insufficient evidence to promote the early detection of prostate cancer in asymptomatic men.
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