BACKGROUND: There is inconclusive evidence that prostate cancer screening with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) reduces mortality. Although PSA testing is widespread, it is unknown how many physicians have taken the PSA test themselves.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of PSA testing among physicians.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey.
SUBJECTS: A nationwide stratified random sample of urologists (response rate 61%, n=247), Internists (response rate 51%, n=273), and family physicians (response rate 64%, n=249) were surveyed by mail in 2000. After excluding female respondents and men who either reported a positive history of prostate cancer or did not respond to that query, there were 146 urologists, 96 Internists, and 118 family physicians.
MEASUREMENTS: Whether physicians had undergone prostate cancer screening with PSA.
RESULTS: Eighty-seven percent (155/178) of male physicians aged, 50 and older and 21% (31/150) of white male physicians under age 50 reported having had a PSA test. More urologists than nonurologists in both age groups reported having had a screening PSA test.
CONCLUSION: Most physicians aged 50 and older report undergoing PSA testing. This may reflect a belief in its efficacy and contribute to its widespread use.