The results of the first-ever national public awareness report conducted by the Los Angeles-based Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) has revealed that all too many men have no idea of the dangers of prostate cancer.
The PCF’s Public Perception of Prostate Cancer report revealed some more than troubling statistics when it comes to how the American public understands prostate cancer and its risks. Nearly seven out of every ten surveyed (69%) said that they thought there were noticeable symptoms of prostate cancer or held other beliefs that demonstrated further noticeable lack of understanding of the disease. Considering how prostate cancer is nearly symptomless — especially in its early stages — this is a startling statistic.
Meanwhile, the hits just kept on coming, as according to this survey just 42% of men surveyed said they had discussed a prostate screening with their doctors. A demographic breakdown of this statistic revealed that Caucasian men were more likely to discuss screening with their doctor than African-American men, despite the fact that the latter are much more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than Caucasians.
Perception Versus Reality
The perception that all too many men seem to share regarding prostate cancer symptoms is truly troubling, considering the reality of how symptomless — or nearly symptomless — prostate cancer can indeed be. Even more troubling is that one of the most rudimentary screening procedures for prostate health is to search for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood; the survey revealed that 68% percent of men would be screened if they knew all it took was a simple blood test.
Other distressing results from the survey found that there is an even more skewed perception towards who can be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Despite the fact that the prostate is an organ that is exclusively found within the male body, 21% of Millennial respondents revealed they thought that women could be diagnosed with prostate cancer. This indicates that there are obvious gaping holes in health and biology education but for younger Americans as well as older ones.