Prostate cancer risk management programme: overview

This document explains the Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme (PCRMP), PSA testing and evidence against a national screening programme.

The NHS Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme (PCRMP) provides GPs and primary care professionals with information to counsel any man who asks about:

Men over 50 who decide to have a PSA test based on this balanced information can do so for free on the NHS.

The PCRMP is an English initiative, but Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have adopted the same approach and use the same materials.

NHS choices has further information that men may find helpful

Guidelines and recommendations

There is no organised screening programme for prostate cancer. Evidence compiled by the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) supports this decision.

The NHS will not be implementing a national screening programme until there is clear evidence showing that it will offer more benefit than harm to the general populaton.

The main aim of PCRMP is to ensure that men concerned about prostate cancer receive clear and balanced information about the PSA test including:

  • benefits
  • limitations
  • associated risks

The PCRMP has produced information leaflets that healthcare professionals can use when discussing the test with eligible men.

Risk factors

The biggest risk factor for prostate cancer is age but other factors may also play a part. Risk is greater in:

  • those with a family history of prostate cancer
  • black Caribbean men
  • black African men

It is important to provide men with the best available information and support to help them make an informed decision.

Referral guidelines

The programme recommends that healthcare professionals use the guidance on age related cut off values for the PSA test.

NHS cancer screening programmes

Fulwood House
Old Fulwood Road

S10 3TH