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Temporal changes in the clinical approach to diagnosing prostate cancer.

23271768

J. Natl. Cancer Inst. Monographs. 2012 Dec 2012 (45).

The diagnosis and detection of prostate cancer has undergone profound changes over the past three decades, due primarily to the development and widespread clinical use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing. These changes have led to substantial differences in the prostate cancer phenotype. It is important to understand these changes to develop appropriate treatment options for contemporarily diagnosed prostate cancer. We explored a group of four temporal changes in prostate cancer detection that occurred after the advent of PSA testing. Through changes in the use of PSA testing, performance of prostate biopsy, application of PSA testing in different age groups, and pathologic tumor grading, a significant increase in detection of potentially inconsequential prostate cancers has occurred. The prostate cancer of 2011 is generally a smaller, lower-grade tumor and more often observed in younger men. These changes in detection will allow for increased use of active surveillance for prostate cancer.