Screening by the prostate-specific antigen test: what do the patients know?

J Cancer Educ. 1996 Spring;11(1):39-44. doi: 10.1080/08858199609528390.


Background: Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy in men, and prostate cancer screening is recommended for all men over the age of 50. The use of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test for cancer screening is controversial.

Methods: At two different Veterans Administration facilities, outpatients completed a 15-item questionnaire about their knowledge of the PSA test two weeks after receiving a screening test.

Results: Demographic characteristics of the patients are described and examined in relation to the results of the PSA-test-knowledge questions. Over 50% of men had not heard of the PSA test and were unaware of receiving the test. Higher education level was the only predictor of PSA-test knowledge.

Conclusions: Either patients forget information about the PSA test or providers do not tell patients they are being screened for cancer. Further research and interventions are needed to improve patient knowledge and understanding about this prostate cancer screening test.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen