Prostate Cancer Screening

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In 2015, 38.8% of men aged 55-69 years had a PSA test within the past year.

Summary graph for Prostate Cancer Screening, Click to see detailed view of graph

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Introduction

Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein produced by normal, as well as malignant, cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in a man’s blood. For this test, a blood sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results are usually reported as nanograms of PSA per milliliter (ng/mL) of blood.

Sometimes a PSA test can find a cancer that, if not detected through screening, would never have caused any symptoms in the person’s lifetime because it was growing so slowly that the person died of something else before any symptoms occurred. This is called overdiagnosis. Although no one ever knows if they are overdiagnosed, the harm is detecting and treating a cancer that otherwise never would have caused the person any problems in their lifetime.

In May 2018, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) published a final recommendation statement to update PSA screening guidelines for two subsets of the population:

  1. for men age 70 years and older, the USPSTF recommends against PSA-based screening for prostate cancer, and
  2. for men ages 55 to 69 years, that clinicians inform them about the potential benefits and harms of PSA-based screening for prostate cancer, stating that the decision about whether to be screened for prostate cancer should be an individual one.

Measure

The percentage of men aged 55-69 years who reported having had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test within the past year, by race/ethnicity, income, education level and  age. This provides information about the use of PSA testing in the population. 

Healthy People 2020 Target

There is no Healthy People 2020 target related to being screened for prostate cancer. There is a target goal to increase the proportion of men who have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test to screen for prostate cancer with their health care provider.

Healthy People 2020 is a set of goals set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Data Source

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 2005-2015.

Trends and Most Recent EstimatesHelp with navigating the graphs and data tables

By Race/Ethnicity

Percent of men aged 55-69 years who had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test within the past year by race/ethnicity, 2005-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percent of men aged 55-69 years who had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test within the past year by race/ethnicity, 2005-2015 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 38.8 36.4 - 41.2
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 41.5 38.8 - 44.2
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 35.8 30.1 - 41.9
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 28.9 22.9 - 35.9

By Poverty Income Level

Percent of men aged 55-69 years who had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test within the past year by poverty income level, 2005-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percent of men aged 55-69 years who had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test within the past year by poverty income level, 2005-2015 <200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of federal poverty level 29.1 25.1 - 33.5
>=200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of federal poverty level 42.0 39.1 - 44.9

By Education Level

Percent of men aged 55-69 years who had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test within the past year by highest level of education obtained, 2005-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percent of men aged 55-69 years who had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test within the past year by highest level of education obtained, 2005-2015 Less than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Less than High School 28.3 22.5 - 34.8
High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for High School 30.7 26.5 - 35.3
Greater than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Greater than High School 43.7 40.7 - 46.8

By Age

Percent of men aged 40 years and older who had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test within the past year by age at time of screening, 2005-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percent of men aged 40 years and older who had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test within the past year by age at time of screening, 2005-2015 Ages 40-54Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages 40-54 12.6 11.2 - 14.2
Ages 55-69Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages 55-69 38.8 36.4 - 41.2
Ages 70+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages 70+ 43.2 40.2 - 46.2

Evidence-based Resources

Resources are available on prostate cancer screening to allow for the prioritization of cancer control efforts and the development, implementation and evaluation of cancer control plans. Find state and local level prostate cancer data, prostate cancer screening guidelines, research-tested interventions and more on Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T. – prostate cancer.

Additional Information on Prostate Cancer Screening

For the public

For health professionals

Year Range

2005-2015

Recent Summary Trend Year Range

2010-2015

Summary Tables

Breast and Cervical Cancers

Recent Summary Trend

Falling

Desired Direction

Rising