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Prostate cancer screening in the midst of controversy: Canadian men’s knowledge, beliefs, utilization, and future intentions


Despite controversy about prostate cancer screening, administrative data show that the use of prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing in Canada has increased. This study sought to determine awareness and knowledge of prostate cancer and screening, use to date, and future intentions to have a digital rectal examination (DRE) and PSA test among Canadian men aged 40 and over. Data were collected through a Canada-wide cross-sectional random digit dial telephone survey of 629 men. Awareness of DRE and PSA, use to date, and future intended use varied with age and education. Although only 9% of respondents had had PSA testing for screening, future intentions to undergo this test were higher than use to date. Knowledge of prostate cancer and screening controversies was low, and men received more information about PSA from the media than from doctors. Men would, therefore, benefit from age- and education-specific information regarding the factors to consider in making an informed choice about prostate cancer screening.



Mercer SL, Goel V, Levy IG, Ashbury FD, Iverson DC, Iscoe NA. Can J Public Health. 1997; 88(5):327-32.

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