Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy in men and, as a result, there has been a nationwide emphasis on screening and detection. With the widespread use of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA), prostate cancer screening effectively detects localized prostate cancer. However, recent reports have identified a significant proportion of prostate cancer in men with low PSA levels. Many of these cancers are higher-grade malignancies. Consequently, PSA may function more effectively as a screening tool when applied over a continuum that is associated with degree of risk, rather than a binary measure. Other markers are currently being investigated. Ideally, a marker will identify the malignancy that is a clinical threat, thereby avoiding intervention for indolent disease. Prevention strategies may be employed for higher-risk patients, and these strategies eventually may be tailored to genetic or other risks.
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