Objectives: This study determined population-based rates of reported prostate cancer screening and assessed prostate cancer-related knowledge, attitudes, and screening practices among men in New York aged 50 years and older.
Methods: Two telephone surveys were conducted. One was included in the 1994 and 1995 statewide Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System interviews, and the other was a community-level survey that targeted Black men (African-American Men Survey). Prevalence estimates were computed for each survey, and prostate cancer screening practices were assessed with logistic regression models.
Results: Overall, fewer than 10% of the men in each survey perceived their prostate cancer risk to be high; almost 20% perceived no risk of developing the disease. Approximately 60% of the men in each survey reported ever having had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. In both surveys, physician advice was significantly associated with screening with a PSA test or a digital rectal examination. Also, race was significantly associated with screening in the statewide survey.
Conclusions: Many New York men appear to be unaware of risk factors for prostate cancer. However, a substantial percentage reported having been screened for the disease; physician advice may have been a major determining factor in their decision to be tested.