Prostate Cancer Screening: PSA Test Awareness among Adult Males

By Obana, Michael; O'Lawrence, Henry | Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, Summer 2015 | Go to article overview

Prostate Cancer Screening: PSA Test Awareness among Adult Males


Obana, Michael, O'Lawrence, Henry, Journal of Health and Human Services Administration


ABSTRACT

The overall purpose of this study was to determine whether visits to the doctor in the last 12 months, education level, and annual household income for adult males increased the awareness of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests. The effect of these factors for the knowledge of PSA exams was performed using statistical analysis. A retrospective secondary database was utilized for this study using the questionnaire in the California Health Interview Survey from 2009. Based on this survey, annual visits to the doctor, higher educational levels attained, and greater take-home pay were statistically significant and the results of the study were equivalent to those hypothesized. This also reflects the consideration of marketing PSA blood test screenings to those adult males who are poor, uneducated, and do not see the doctor on a consistent basis.

INTRODUCTION

According to the American Cancer Society (2013), prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is discovered in a blood test to find cancerous cells associated with the prostate gland. The discussion about PSA tests between health care providers and patients usually happens at age 50 years old, but prostate cancer screenings are available as early as 40 years old for those who have family history of cancer (American Cancer Society, 2013). A recent PSA debate organized by the Prostate Cancer Support Foundation and described in the "Call for Greater Clarity on the Prostate Cancer Test" (2009), noted that men were ignorant in their prostate health regardless of the fact that an estimated of 10,000 men are die from prostate cancer each year. It is important for adult males living in the United States to become aware of PSA tests to help detect and diagnose early prostate cancer.

Ferrante, Shaw, and Scott (2011) indicated that adult males avoided screening because of the perception that they were at low risk due to lack of family history and the belief that they were living a healthy lifestyle. As a part of doctor visits for adult males, a digital rectal exam (DRE) is conducted to detect any physical signs of prostate enlargement and cancer. PSA testing is usually discussed with patients during their doctor visits as a part of their annual physical exam. Hall, Taylor, Ross, Richardson, Richards, and Rim (2011) reported that 80% of primary care physicians (PCPs) in the United States informed adult males about the process of prostate cancer screening and 64% of PCPs recommended their patients to follow up with a PSA test. Prostate cancer is one of leading cancers among male adults 40 years of age and older and it is essential for this intended population to understand the benefits of PSA testing (Bowen, Hannon, Harris, and Martin, 2011).

With routine doctor visits, adult males would also discuss with their PCP about being a candidate for prostate cancer screening. It is important for physicians to effectively communicate with their patients about the importance of PSA testing and the advantages of early screenings (Gormley, Catney, McCall, Reilly, and Gavin, 2006). Public awareness about PSA testing may also influence patients to follow through with the screening. The education and income level of adult males are both important to make an informed decision for PSA testing (Driscoll, Rupert, Golin, McCormack, Sheridan, Welch, and Poehlman, 2008). It is also vital for adult males to understand the impact that PSA testing has in order to treat prostate cancer at an early stage. This would prevent further harm to their bodies and improve their quality of life.

Ross, Taylor, and Howard, (2011) stated that PSA testing was more frequent among men with history of family cancer, chronic disease, and older age. As men get older in age, they should be proactive in protecting their own health by going to doctor visits and having the necessary health coverage to cover medical costs. Ross, Taylor, and Howard (2011) also reported that early screening for prostate cancer with PSA testing increased men's chances of survival. …

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