Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of male cancer death in the UK, however due to the uncertainty around the health benefits and cost-effectiveness of a national screening programme, organised screening has not been adopted. A cost-effectiveness analysis was therefore conducted to examine the impact of a national prostate cancer screening programme on behalf of the UK National Screening Committee. A discrete event simulation model was developed to evaluate the use of the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test as a screening tool in the UK. The model comprises four parts: a disease natural history model which models the underlying disease itself; a calibration module which enables unobservable model parameters to be calibrated to observable data using a Metropolis-Hastings algorithm; a screening component which allows different screening options to be imposed on the population; and a resource impact model which calculates the resource implications of the alternative screening options. The model estimates incidence, lead time, over-detection, quality of life years (QALYs), mortality and resource implications of single and repeat screening strategies
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