Economic evaluation of prostate cancer screening test as a national cancer screening program in South Korea

Sangjin Shin, Youn Hee Kim, Jin Sub Hwang, Yoon Jae Lee, Sang Moo Lee, Jeonghoon Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Prostate cancer is rapidly increasing in Korea and professional societies have requested adding prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing to the National Cancer Screening Program (NCSP), but this started a controversy in Korea and neutral evidence on this issue is required more than ever. The purpose of this study was to provide economic evidence to the decision makers of the NCSP. Materials and Methods: A cost-utility analysis was performed on the adoption of PSA screening program among men aged 50-74-years in Korea from the healthcare system perspective. Several data sources were used for the cost-utility analysis, including general health screening data, the Korea Central Cancer Registry, national insurance claims data, and cause of mortality from the National Statistical Office. To solicit the utility index of prostate cancer, a face-to-face interview for typical men aged 40 to 69 was conducted using a Time-Trade Off method. Results: As a result, the increase of effectiveness was estimated to be very low, when adopting PSA screening, and the incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) was analyzed as about 94 million KRW. Sensitivity analyses were performed on the incidence rate, screening rate, cancer stage distribution, utility index, and treatment costs but the results were consistent with the base analysis. Conclusions: Under Korean circumstances with a relatively low incidence rate of prostate cancer, PSA screening is not cost-effective. Therefore, we conclude that adopting national prostate cancer screening would not be beneficial until further evidence is provided in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3383-3389
Number of pages7
JournalAsian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2014


  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Early detection of cancer
  • Prostatic neoplasms


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