Men Favor Prostate Cancer Test Despite Task Force Recommendation

Published Online: Monday, September 16, 2013
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In a recent study, a majority of men reported they still wanted to receive prostate-specific antigen testing, despite recommendations by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) against the test.

The study, published in the August 2013 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, surveyed 1089 men aged 40 to 74 years, without a history of prostate cancer, on their awareness and response to the October 2011 USPSTF draft recommendation against prostate-specific antigen testing. The survey was conducted online from November 22 to December 2, 2011, and responses were analyzed in March 2012.

After reviewing the recommendation, 62% of participants understood the reasons why the recommendation was made and agreed with it. Only 13% of the men, however, planned to follow the recommendation in the future, and 54% planned to have a prostate-specific antigen test, regardless of the recommendation. The remaining 33% of participants were undecided on whether to follow the recommendation or not. The results also indicated that African Americans, individuals with higher income, those who were worried about developing prostate cancer, and those who had already received a prostate-specific antigen test within the past 2 years were the most likely to report that they would ignore the USPSTF recommendation.

The USPSTF currently recommends against prostate-specific antigen testing, as the risks, which include false-positive results, outweigh the benefits.

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