In a prospective study the statistical characteristics of digital rectal examination (DRE), transrectal ultrasound (TRUS), and serologic determination of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) were assessed in 1230 patients aged over 40 years. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were determined to be 80.3%, 69.7%, 58.9%, and 86.7%, respectively, for DRE; 76.5%, 62.3%, 52.3%, and 83.1%, respectively, for TRUS; and 87.9%, 49.6%, 48.5%, and 88.3%, respectively, for PSA (normal level, 4 ng/ml). The data clearly demonstrate the nonsuitability of each single measure for reliable early detection of prostatic carcinoma. Connection of the parameters in all possible combinations under various conditions demonstrated the superiority of the test “DRE and PSA >4 ng/ml” over DRE as the “gold standard” and all other options. The use of this approach as the first-line raster of an algorithm (outlined herein) would allow the detection of prostatic malignancy with a specificity of 86.5% and a positive predictive value of 74.0%. Supplementing this screen with short-term controls in cases in which only one parameter is positive (“DRE or PSA >4 ng/ml”) might enable the detection of almost all patients with prostate cancer. TRUS did not provide any additional information.