Fifth of men in 40s have had prostate cancer test

August 11th, 2008 - 2:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 11 (IANS) Twenty percent of men in their forties have had a prostate specific antigen test within the previous year which included more of African-Americans than Caucasian males. Currently, important medical organisations recommend that men at average risk discuss the condition with their doctor starting at age 50 whether to get tested.

American Cancer Society does though recommend that African-Americans and men with a first degree relative with prostate cancer should have screening every year, beginning at age 45, and that men with two or more first degree relatives with prostate cancer begin testing at age 40.

In this context, Judd Moul and Charles Scales, of the Duke Prostate Centre and Urologic Surgery at Duke University, obtained data from the 2002 Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual, population-based survey of civilian, non-institutionalised adults in the United States. The final sample for this study consisted of 58,511 men ages 40 and above.

The investigators found that one in five of them men had undergone screening in the previous year. Several socio-demographic characteristics were associated with PSA screening in younger men.

In particular, young, black, non-Hispanic men were more likely than young white, non-Hispanic men to report having a PSA test in the previous year. This finding was independent of income, education and access to care.

The authors noted that these results are reassuring, showing that physicians are more likely to recommend screening among African-American men due to this group’s elevated risk for prostate cancer.

The survey also revealed that younger Hispanic men were more likely to undergo PSA testing than younger white, non-Hispanic men.

The study is scheduled for publication in the Sep 15 issue of CANCER, a journal of the American Cancer Society.

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