Men's attitudes regarding genetic testing for hereditary prostate cancer risk

Urology. 2000 Jan;55(1):46-50. doi: 10.1016/s0090-4295(99)00400-8.


Objectives: Little is known about the attitudes of men unselected for a family history for prostate cancer concerning genetic testing for prostate cancer risk or genetic testing for inherited cancer predisposition. To explore this, we examined the interest in molecular testing for hereditary prostate cancer (HPC) predisposition among a self-selected cohort of 342 men presenting for prostate cancer screening.

Methods: Participants were surveyed concerning their attitudes about DNA testing for HPC predisposition and knowledge of prostate cancer-associated risk factors, including heredity.

Results: Of the participants completing the survey, 92% expressed interest in learning about DNA testing, and 89% stated that they would undergo DNA analysis for HPC predisposition, if available. Twenty-eight percent of respondents failed to demonstrate an adequate understanding of the concept of "inherited tendency." The demonstrated level of understanding of this concept did not differ by the respondent's family history, although it varied by race. An interest in learning about or undergoing testing did not vary by race, family history, or demonstrated understanding of the concept of inherited risk.

Conclusions: Among men presenting for routine prostate cancer screening, interest in learning about testing for HPC predisposition and in having such testing performed may be high. The data also provide evidence that, in a population of men unselected for family history, interest in molecular testing for this common, male-specific cancer may parallel the high interest level demonstrated among women in DNA testing for inherited breast and ovarian cancer risk.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Genetic Testing / psychology*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Risk Factors