• Choosing Wisely®

    Prostate Cancer Screening


    Do not routinely screen for prostate cancer using a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test or digital rectal exam.  For men who desire PSA screening, it  should only be performed after engaging in shared decision making.

    Screening for prostate cancer using PSA may prevent mortality from prostate cancer for a small number of men, while putting many men at risk for long term harms, such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.  Whether this potentially small benefit in mortality outweighs the potential harms is dependent on the values and preferences of individual men.  Therefore, for men who express a desire for prostate cancer screening, it should only be performed following a discussion of the potential benefits and harms. Routine screening for prostate cancer should not be done. PSA-based prostate cancer screening should not be performed in men over 70 years of age.


    American Academy of Family Physicians. Prostate cancer screening. Leawood (KS): American Academy of Family Physicians; 2018. 

    U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Prostate Cancer Screening. Rockville (MD): U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. 2018 May.


    About Choosing Wisely®

    The Choosing Wisely®  campaign was created as an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation to improve health care quality. More than 70 specialty societies have identified commonly used tests or procedures within their specialties that are possibly overused.

    Learn more about the AAFP support of the Choosing Wisely® campaign.

    This recommendation is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about this recommendation or their individual situation should consult their physician.