Background: Men who have a family history of prostate cancer have an increased risk of getting prostate cancer themselves. Depending on whether they have a father or brother with prostate cancer increases their risk two-three fold and for African American (AA) men the risk is twice than of Euro-American (EA) men. Our object is to determine 1) men’s knowledge of prostate cancer screening and the effect of their family history on their own screening behavior and 2) does knowledge of risk affect African American and Euro-American mean differently?
Methods: A sample of 255 African and European American men, ages 35-74, were recruited through relatives whose prostate cancer diagnoses were reported to the Greater San Francisco Bay Area Cancer Registry. A cross-sectional survey was administered to both groups. The surveys measured knowledge, perceived risks, and identifying factors associated with health seeking behavior for prostate cancer screening using the Prostate Specific Antigen Test (PSA) and Digital Rectal Exam (DRE).
Results: AA men were slighly younger,less educated and less likely to be employed, have insurance,than EA men. Not surprising, AA men were less knowledgeable about prostate cancer and their familial risk and also less likely to have had either a PSA test or a DRE.
Conclusion: The most effective way to increase screening efforts for prostate cancer is to increase men's knowledge of screening for prostate cancer and increasing one's knowledge of familial risk. Risk notification, including knowledge of screening, maybe the path to increase screening behavior using DRE and/or PSA, may Impact: Increased screening can reduce mortality from prostate cancer among men at high risk for prostate cancer.