Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre

PCFA: Community Attitudes Survey To Prostate Cancer

PCFA MasterLogo POS RGB Community awareness of prostate cancer has increased markedly in the last ten years. This offers some useful insights into men's and women's perspectives on prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is viewed as being the major men's health issue and one of the top five health issues in the community although it accounts for 4.2% of male deaths and 13% of male cancer deaths.

Community awareness of prostate cancer has improved over the years and many more men are being tested from self-referral and via their GP.

This report examines the following questions:

  • How have Australian men's perceptions of prostate cancer changed over ten years?
  • What are attitudes towards testing?
  • What are attitudes about available support services and additional services?

Australian men's perceptions of cancer

49% thought that prostate cancer was the major disease facing men followed by 18% that thought heart disease was the major illness. It was also the major health issue facing men with 51% of respondents.

Attitudes Towards Testing

With testing being a controversial issue, more men are now aware of the procedures involved with testing and the recommendations for testing at each age group.

There is a higher level of testing being done than previously thought so the default position is trending towards testing as precautionary measure usually because of recommendation by GPs. There is some concern about this approach due to the presence of conflicting advice.

Available Support Services

Men who found support reported that it was beneficial being able to talk to other men in the same situation. The traditional view that men don't seek help is clearly false and in fact many do seek help. The challenge is more frequently related to how available services are to men which is where health practitioners can really direct men in need.


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