If you do decide to have the test and would like to continue to be screened for the disease, depending on your PSA result, you should return for the test every 1–2 years. You may wish to discontinue this after the age of 75 years.

If you choose not to have the test, you can review the decision each year with your GP or if you have reason to believe your personal risk or circumstances may have changed.

Table 2: Benefits and risks of PSA testing

Benefits of PSA testingRisks of PSA testing
PSA testing can detect prostate cancer early, before it causes symptoms.

Prostate cancer detected early and confined to the prostate gland is potentially curable.

Advanced prostate cancer can be slowed down but not cured.
Some cancers grow slowly and don’t threaten life. But treatment for them can affect your quality of life.

A PSA test can be abnormal but not mean you have cancer. You may need a biopsy to find out.