One of the most important diagnostic tools used to detect prostate cancer is prostate-specific antigen (PSA), yet increased PSA alone does not reflect the presence of prostate cancer. Other pathological prostatic conditions such as prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) may also increase the level of PSA. However, unlike in other prostate diseases, PSA has a key role in the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer. The incidence of prostate cancer varies from country to country, with the highest incidence being found in the Western world and the lowest in Asian countries. Owing to the low incidence of prostate cancer, there could be different views regarding the use of PSA in Asian countries, especially for the early detection/screening of prostate cancer. The purpose of this article is to review the use and value of PSA in the diagnosis of prostate diseases (especially prostate cancer) in Asian countries/populations. A literature search was performed in ‘MEDLINE’ (PubMed) and Google Scholar using main keywords such as ‘PSA’, ‘PSA usage’, ‘PSA sensitivity and specificity’, ‘Asia’, and various countries in Asia. Articles that provide population/community-based PSA data, together with the characteristics, distribution, and indications for PSA testing in the respective countries, were selected. Eleven papers were finally selected for inclusion in this review. Five studies found that PSA, by its 95th percentile value, have an age-referenced tendency in Asian males, similarly to the West. The predictive values of PSA in detecting prostate cancer are also quite similar to those in Western countries. With the exponential growth of the aging population in the world, especially in Asia, the incidence of prostate cancer will follow this upward trend. Therefore, PSA testing for screening or diagnostic purposes would increase with time in Asia. © 2010, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.