What Men Know About Prostate Cancer Symptoms and Treatment; a Study of Adult Men In Australia(In Press)

JMED Research

Rosemary A Gentle1, Sanjiva S Wijesinha 2 and  Kay M Jones



1Department of General Practice Monash University Building 1, 270 Ferntree Gully Road Notting Hill 3168, Victoria, Australia

2,3 Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor, Peninsula Campus Monash University Building D, McMahons Road Frankston 3199, Victoria, Australia

Volume 2014(2014), Article ID 643813, JMED Research, 10 pages, DOI:

Received date : 24 June 2014; Accepted date : 21 October 2014; Published date : 12 November 2014


In Australia, guidelines and other information available regarding prostate cancer screening are conflicting. Until recently public awareness of prostate cancer and related issues were poor, yet two of the most common reasons men sought and underwent testing were because of general practitioner (GP) recommendation or media publicity. As men generally trust their GP, the GP may be in the best position to assist men, particularly men who are poorly informed, prefer to ignore health issues or their perception of their personal risk and vulnerability influences their decisions about testing. Recent advertising and awareness campaigns on websites and social networking sites are playing a valuable role. Methods An anonymous questionnaire comprising six single-answer and six multiple-option questions was completed by adult men. Data were analysed using SPSS. Ethics was approved through the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee. Results A total of 250 questionnaires were completed; around three quarters (77%) were 40 or under. The majority (87%) had heard of prostate cancer, more than half had seen their GP recently (63%) but few had discussed the topic with their GP (21%). Around a third was not sure of symptoms (30%), tests (25%) or treatment options (27%). Discussion Regardless of age, men reported limited knowledge. Guidelines for GPs should provide consistent information. Confusion from guidelines, literature and the media may result in GPs not raising the topic with men; conversely, as men’s knowledge is limited, they may not raise the topic with their GP Conclusion Men need accurate information and it may be of value if GPs open the conversation thus providing an opportunity for further discussion. The apparent lack of knowledge demonstrated by participants in this study suggests it may be of value if GPs open the conversation with men regardless of the men’s age.

Keywords: prostate examination, screening, treatment guidelines, men’s health, prostate cancer