Prostate Cancer Screening

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In 2015, 35.7% of men aged 50 years and older 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 at 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 April 2017, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) proposed a draft 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 50 and older who reported having had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test within the past year, by race/ethnicity, income, and education level.

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 50 and older 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 50 and older who had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test within the past year by race/ethnicity, 2005-2015 click for more details and datapoints All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 35.7 34.0 - 37.3
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 38.9 37.0 - 40.9
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 33.2 29.3 - 37.3
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 26.9 22.7 - 31.5

By Poverty Income Level

Percent of men aged 50 and older 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 50 and older who had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test within the past year by poverty income level, 2005-2015 click for more details and datapoints <200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of federal poverty level 26.3 23.5 - 29.3
>=200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of federal poverty level 39.2 37.2 - 41.2

By Education Level

Percent of men aged 50 and older 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 50 and older who had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test within the past year by highest level of education obtained, 2005-2015 click for more details and datapoints Less than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Less than High School 22.8 19.4 - 26.6
High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for High School 32.0 29.1 - 35.0
Greater than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Greater than High School 41.3 39.0 - 43.6

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