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1.  What Can Interest Tell Us about Uptake of Genetic Testing? Intention and Behavior amongst Smokers Related to Patients with Lung Cancer 
Public Health Genomics  2009;13(2):116-124.
Much of the research examining psychosocial aspects of genetic testing has used hypothetical scenarios, based on the largely untested assumption that hypothetical genetic testing intentions are good proxies for behavior. We tested whether hypothetical interest predicts uptake of genetic testing and whether factors that predict interest also predict uptake.
Participants (n = 116) were smokers and related to patients with lung cancer, who completed a telephone survey. Interest in genetic testing for lung cancer risk was indicated by responding ‘definitely would’ to a Likert-style question. Internet-delivered genetic testing for lung cancer risk was then offered. Uptake was indicated by requesting the test and receiving the result.
63% of participants said they ‘definitely would’ take the genetic test; uptake was 38%. Participants who said they ‘definitely would’ take the test were more likely than others to take the offered test (45% vs. 26%, p = 0.035). Interest was associated with attitudes towards genetic testing and motivation to quit smoking. Uptake was associated with motivation, prior awareness of genetic testing, and daily Internet use.
Hypothetical interest only modestly predicts uptake of genetic testing. Interest in genetic testing likely reflects generally positive attitudes that are not good predictors of the choices individuals subsequently make.
PMCID: PMC3696369  PMID: 19556750
Attitudes; Complex diseases; Decision-making; Evaluation of genetic/genomic tools for public health; Genetic testing; Interest; Lung cancer; Uptake
2.  Immediate Risk for Cardiovascular Events and Suicide Following a Prostate Cancer Diagnosis: Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(12):e1000197.
Katja Fall and Fang Fang and colleagues find that men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer are at increased risk of cardiovascular events and suicide.
Stressful life events have been shown to be associated with altered risk of various health consequences. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the emotional stress evoked by a prostate cancer diagnosis increases the immediate risks of cardiovascular events and suicide.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a prospective cohort study by following all men in Sweden who were 30 y or older (n = 4,305,358) for a diagnosis of prostate cancer (n = 168,584) and their subsequent occurrence of cardiovascular events and suicide between January 1, 1961 and December 31, 2004. We used Poisson regression models to calculate relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of cardiovascular events and suicide among men who had prostate cancer diagnosed within 1 y to men without any cancer diagnosis. The risks of cardiovascular events and suicide were elevated during the first year after prostate cancer diagnosis, particularly during the first week. Before 1987, the RR of fatal cardiovascular events was 11.2 (95% CI 10.4–12.1) during the first week and 1.9 (95% CI 1.9–2.0) during the first year after diagnosis. From 1987, the RR for cardiovascular events, nonfatal and fatal combined, was 2.8 (95% CI 2.5–3.2) during the first week and 1.3 (95% CI 1.3–1.3) during the first year after diagnosis. While the RR of cardiovascular events declined, the RR of suicide was stable over the entire study period: 8.4 (95% CI 1.9–22.7) during the first week and 2.6 (95% CI 2.1–3.0) during the first year after diagnosis. Men 54 y or younger at cancer diagnosis demonstrated the highest RRs of both cardiovascular events and suicide. A limitation of the present study is the lack of tumor stage data, which precluded possibilities of investigating the potential impact of the disease severity on the relationship between a recent diagnosis of prostate cancer and the risks of cardiovascular events and suicide. In addition, we cannot exclude residual confounding as a possible explanation.
Men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer are at increased risks for cardiovascular events and suicide. Future studies with detailed disease characteristic data are warranted.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Prostate cancer—a type of tumor that develops in a walnut-sized structure in the male reproductive system—is the commonest cancer (excluding skin cancer) among men in developed countries. In the USA and the UK, for example, one in six men will develop prostate cancer during their lifetime. Most prostate cancers develop in elderly men and, because these tumors usually grow relatively slowly, many men die with prostate cancer rather than as a result of it. Nevertheless, some prostate cancers are fast-growing and aggressive and prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among men. The symptoms of prostate cancer include problems urinating and excessive urination during the night. Nowadays, however, most prostate cancers are detected before they produce any symptoms by measuring the amount of a protein called the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood.
Why Was This Study Done?
Widespread PSA screening was introduced 20 years ago in the hope that early detection of prostate cancer would save lives. But, although many more prostate cancers are detected nowadays, the number of prostate cancer deaths has not changed significantly. Experts are divided, therefore, about whether the potential benefits of PSA screening outweigh its risks. Treatments for prostate cancer (for example, surgical removal of the prostate) may be more effective if they are started early but they can cause impotence and urinary incontinence, so should men be treated whose cancer might otherwise never affect their health? In addition, receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer is stressful and there is growing evidence that stressful life events can increase an individual's risk of becoming ill or dying from a heart attack, stroke, or other “cardiovascular” events and of becoming mentally ill. In this study, therefore, the researchers investigate whether men diagnosed with prostate cancer in Sweden have increased risks of cardiovascular events and suicide during the first week and first year after their diagnosis.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified nearly 170, 000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1961 and 2004 among Swedish men aged 30 years or older by searching the Swedish Cancer Register. They obtained information on subsequent fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events and suicides from the Causes of Death Register and the Inpatient Register (in Sweden, everyone has a unique national registration number that facilitates searches of different health-related Registers). Before 1987, men with prostate cancer were about 11 times as likely to have a fatal cardiovascular event during the first week after their diagnosis as men without prostate cancer; during the first year after their diagnosis, men with prostate cancer were nearly twice as likely to have a cardiovascular event as men without prostate cancer (a relative risk of 1.9). From 1987, the relative risk of combined fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events associated with a diagnosis of prostate cancer was 2.8 during the first week and 1.3 during the first year after diagnosis. The relative risk of suicide associated with a diagnosis of prostate cancer was 8.4 during the first week and 2.6 during the first year after diagnosis throughout the study period. Finally, men younger than 54 years at diagnosis had higher relative risks of both cardiovascular events and suicide.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer have an increased risk of cardiovascular events and suicide. Because there is no information on tumor size or aggressiveness in the Cancer Register, the researchers could not look at the relationship between disease severity and the likelihood of a cardiovascular event or suicide. Furthermore, because of the study design, men who received a diagnosis of prostate cancer may have had additional characteristics in common that contributed to their increased risk of cardiovascular events and suicide. Nevertheless, these findings strongly suggest that the stress of the diagnosis itself rather than any subsequent treatment has deleterious effects on the health of men receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer. Thus, strategies should be developed to reduce the risks of cardiovascular events and suicide—increased clinical and psychological monitoring—after a diagnosis of prostate cancer, particularly among young men, and this new information should be considered in the ongoing debate about the risks and benefits of PSA screening.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Cancer Institute provides information on all aspects of prostate cancer, (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on prostate cancer, including Prostate Cancer Screening, A Decision Guide (some information in multiple languages)
The UK National Health Service Choices Web site provides detailed information on prostate cancer
The UK-based Samaritans charity provides confidential nonjudgmental emotional support, 24 hours a day, for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide
Outside the UK, Befrienders provides information on help lines for those experiencing distress
PMCID: PMC2784954  PMID: 20016838
3.  Interest in Genetic Testing Among Affected Men from Hereditary Prostate Cancer (HPC) Families and their Unaffected Male Relatives 
The objective of this study was to evaluate potential sociodemographic, medical, psychosocial, and behavioral correlates of interest in genetic testing in men from hereditary prostate cancer families (HPC).
Family members affected with prostate cancer (n=559) and their unaffected male relatives (n=370) completed a mailed survey. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine the association between potential correlates and interest in genetic testing for prostate cancer.
Forty-five percent of affected and 56% of unaffected men reported that they definitely would take a genetic test for prostate cancer. More affected men reported high levels of familiarity with genetic testing than unaffected men (46% vs. 25%). There were several variables that were significantly correlated with interest in either affected or unaffected men but only age and familiarity with genetics were significant in both groups. After controlling for confounding variables, only familiarity remained a significant correlate in both groups.
The contrast between low levels of familiarity with genetics and high test interest among unaffected men highlights the need for increased educational efforts targeting HPC families. Overall, results illuminated several novel characteristics of men from HPC families that should be considered when developing future informed consent procedures or educational materials for prostate cancer genetic testing.
PMCID: PMC2683189  PMID: 19346959
Prostate cancer; family; hereditary; genetic test; psychosocial
4.  Real world experience with cancer genetic counseling via telephone 
Familial Cancer  2010;9(4):681-689.
One barrier to genetic testing is the lack of access to genetic counselors. We provided cancer genetic counseling via telephone, through a pilot project for employees of a national health insurer, Aetna, Inc. Knowledge transfer, behavioral intentions, and patient satisfaction were assessed by survey after genetic counseling. Aetna sent an individual email to its employees nationwide notifying them of the availability of a new telephone genetic counseling and testing program and providing a link to take a brief screening questionnaire to determine whether they may be at risk of hereditary cancer. Employees completing the questionnaire received immediate feedback regarding whether there appeared to be a risk of hereditary cancer. If so, they were invited to schedule a telephonic genetic counseling session. After the session, respondents completed an online survey. 397 individuals completed the questionnaire. 39 proceeded with telephone genetic counseling, and 22 completed the follow-up survey, including all 11 women with family history warranting genetic testing. One third reported prior discussion about inherited cancer risk with their primary care provider (PCP); 12% were referred to a geneticist; 20% had an accurate perception of their own cancer risk. After counseling, 94% reported understanding their risk for cancer and 87% were aware of available risk-reduction strategies. 87% of high-risk respondents intended to engage in risk-management interventions. 93% reported high satisfaction. 66% indicated they would not have pursued genetic counseling if it had not been available by phone. Results suggest telephone counseling is a viable option for increasing access to genetic experts. In this sample, telephone counseling increases knowledge of cancer risk, motivates intention to change health-related behaviors, and elicits a high satisfaction level. Consequently, Aetna now offers telephone cancer genetic counseling nationwide as a covered benefit.
PMCID: PMC3303219  PMID: 20799063
BRCA 1/2; Cancer genetic counseling; Cancer risk assessment; Genetic testing; Hereditary cancer; Telephone genetic counseling
5.  Knowledge, attitudes and practices of Ugandan men regarding prostate cancer 
The incidence of prostate cancer in Uganda is one of the highest recorded in Africa. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in Uganda.
This study assessed the current knowledge, attitudes and practices of adult Ugandan men regarding prostate cancer.
Subjects and Methods
We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional study using interviewer administered questionnaires and focus group discussions among 545 adult men aged 18–71 years, residing in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Quantitative data were analyzed with SPSS version 20. Qualitative data were collected using audio recorded focus group discussions, transcribed and analyzed by clustering into themes.
The majority of the respondents (324, 59.4%) were aged 18–28 years, 295 (54.1%) had heard about prostate cancer and 250 (45.9%) had never heard about it. The commonest source of information about prostate cancer was the mass media. Only 12.5% of the respondents obtained information about prostate cancer from a health worker, 37.4% did not know the age group that prostate cancer affects and 50.2% could not identify any risk factor for prostate cancer. Participants in the focus group discussions confused prostate cancer with gonorrhea and had various misconceptions about the causes of prostate cancer. Only 10.3% of the respondents had good knowledge of the symptoms of prostate cancer and only 9% knew about serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing. Although 63.5% thought they were susceptible to prostate cancer, only 22.9% considered getting and only 3.5% had ever undergone a serum PSA test.
There was generally poor knowledge and several misconceptions regarding prostate cancer and screening in the study population. Community based health education programs about prostate cancer are greatly needed for this population.
PMCID: PMC4162513  PMID: 25221428
Knowledge; Prostate cancer; Prostate specific antigen
6.  Risk factors for the onset of prostatic cancer: age, location, and behavioral correlates 
Clinical Epidemiology  2012;4:1-11.
At present, only three risk factors for prostate cancer have been firmly established; these are all nonmodifiable: age, race, and a positive family history of prostate cancer. However, numerous modifiable factors have also been implicated in the development of prostate cancer. In the current review, we summarize the epidemiologic data for age, location, and selected behavioral factors in relation to the onset of prostate cancer. Although the available data are not entirely consistent, possible preventative behavioral factors include increased physical activity, intakes of tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables, and soy. Factors that may enhance prostate cancer risk include frequent consumption of dairy products and, possibly, meat. By comparison, alcohol probably exerts no important influence on prostate cancer development. Similarly, dietary supplements are unlikely to protect against the onset of prostate cancer in healthy men. Several factors, such as smoking and obesity, show a weak association with prostate cancer incidence but a positive relation with prostate cancer mortality. Other factors, such as fish intake, also appear to be unassociated with incident prostate cancer but show an inverse relation with fatal prostate cancer. Such heterogeneity in the relationship between behavioral factors and nonadvanced, advanced, or fatal prostate cancers helps shed light on the carcinogenetic process because it discerns the impact of exposure on early and late stages of prostate cancer development. Inconsistent associations between behavioral factors and prostate cancer risk seen in previous studies may in part be due to uncontrolled detection bias because of current widespread use of prostate-specific antigen testing for prostate cancer, and the possibility that certain behavioral factors are systematically related to the likelihood of undergoing screening examinations. In addition, several genes may modify the study results, but data concerning specific gene–environment interactions are currently sparse. Despite large improvements in our understanding of prostate cancer risk factors in the past two decades, present knowledge does not allow definitive recommendations for specific preventative behavioral interventions.
PMCID: PMC3490374  PMID: 22291478
prostate cancer; risk factors; etiology; epidemiology
Urology  2007;69(2):215-220.
False-positive screening tests may induce persistent psychological distress. This study was designed to determine whether a positive screening test with a negative biopsy for prostate cancer is associated with worsened mental health during short-term follow-up.
We conducted a cross-sectional telephone survey of two groups of men approximately two months after testing: 1) 109 men with an abnormal PSA test or digital rectal exam but negative biopsies for prostate cancer (group 1), and 2) 101 age-matched primary care patients with PSA screening tests in the reference range (<4 ng/ml)(group 2). Primary outcomes included state anxiety and prostate cancer-related worry. Secondary outcomes included SF-36 subscales and sexual function items. Multivariable regression techniques were used to adjust for differences in baseline covariates.
Group 1 patients were more worried than group 2 patients about getting prostate cancer: mean worry = 3.9 vs. 4.5, p=.0001 (5-point scale, where 1 = extreme and 5 = none). Group 1 patients also perceived their risk of prostate cancer to be significantly greater than that of controls (p=.001). There were no significant differences across state anxiety or SF-36 subscales. Sexual bother was greater for group 1 patients, with 19% of reporting that sexual function was a moderate-big problem compared to 10% of group 2 patients (p = .0001).
Men with abnormal prostate cancer screening tests report increased cancer-related worry and more problems with sexual function, despite having a negative biopsy result. Effective counseling interventions are needed prior to prostate cancer screening and during follow-up.
PMCID: PMC1868466  PMID: 17320653
8.  Barriers and Facilitators to BRCA Genetic Counseling Among At-Risk Latinas in New York City 
Psycho-oncology  2012;22(7):1594-1604.
Despite underuse of genetic services for hereditary breast and/or ovarian cancer risk among Latinas (including counseling and testing for BRCA mutations), there is little known about the barriers and facilitators to BRCA genetic counseling among this group. It is imperative to first understand factors that may impede Latinas seeking BRCA genetic counseling, as it is considered a prerequisite to testing.
Quantitative telephone interviews (N=120) were conducted with at-risk Latinas in New York City to investigate interest, barriers and beliefs about BRCA genetic counseling. Statistical analyses examined predictors of intention to undergo BRCA genetic counseling.
Despite moderate levels of awareness, Latinas held largely positive beliefs, attitudes and knowledge about BRCA genetic counseling. Perceived barriers included logistic concerns (e.g., where to go, cost/health insurance coverage), emotional concerns (e.g., fear, distress) and competing life concerns (e.g, too many other things to worry about, too busy taking care of children or family members). Multivariate results showed that the strongest predictor of intention to undergo BRCA genetic counseling was competing life concerns; Latinas with more competing life concerns were less likely to intend to undergo BRCA genetic counseling (p=0.0002). Other significant predictors of intention included perceived risk of carrying a BRCA mutation (p=0.01) and referral by their physician (p=0.02).
Educational efforts to promote BRCA genetic counseling among at-risk Latinas and increase referrals by their physicians should incorporate discussion of perceived barriers to counseling, such as competing life concerns that Latinas may need to overcome in order to seek genetic counseling.
PMCID: PMC3541466  PMID: 22987526
cancer; oncology; genetic counseling; breast; BRCA
9.  A comparison of US and Australian men’s values and preferences for PSA screening 
Patient preferences derived from an assessment of values can help inform the design of screening programs, but how best to do so, and whether such preferences differ cross-nationally, has not been well-examined. The objective of this study was to compare the values and preferences of Australian and US men for PSA (prostate specific antigen) screening.
We used an internet based survey of men aged 50–75 with no personal or family history of prostate cancer recruited from on-line panels of a survey research organization in the US and Australia. Participants viewed information on prostate cancer and prostate cancer screening with PSA testing then completed a values clarification task that included information on 4 key attributes: chance of 1) being diagnosed with prostate cancer, 2) dying from prostate cancer, 3) requiring a biopsy as a result of screening, and 4) developing impotence or incontinence as a result of screening. The outcome measures were self reported most important attribute, unlabelled screening test choice, and labelled screening intent, assessed on post-task questionnaires.
We enrolled 911 participants (US:456; AU:455), mean age was 59.7; 88.0% were white; 36.4% had completed at least a Bachelors’ degree; 42.0% reported a PSA test in the past 12 months. Australian men were more likely to be white and to have had recent screening. For both US and Australian men, the most important attribute was the chance of dying from prostate cancer. Unlabelled post-task preference for the PSA screening-like option was greater for Australian (39.1%) compared to US (26.3%) participants (adjusted OR 1.68 (1.28-2.22)). Labelled intent for screening was high for both countries: US:73.7%, AUS:78.0% (p = 0.308).
There was high intent for PSA screening in both US and Australian men; fewer men in each country chose the PSA-like option on the unlabelled question. Australian men were somewhat more likely to prefer PSA screening. Men in both countries did not view the increased risk of diagnosis as a negative aspect, suggesting more work needs to be done on communicating the concept of overdiagnosis to men facing a PSA screening decision.
Trial registration
This trial was registered at (NCT01558583).
PMCID: PMC3852221  PMID: 24093428
10.  Supporting Informed Decision Making for Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Testing on the Web: An Online Randomized Controlled Trial 
Men considering the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test for prostate cancer, an increasingly common male cancer, are encouraged to make informed decisions, as the test is limited in its accuracy and the natural history of the condition is poorly understood. The Web-based PSA decision aid, Prosdex, was developed as part of the UK Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme in order to help men make such informed decisions.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the Web-based PSA decision aid, Prosdex, on informed decision making.
A Web-based randomized controlled trial was conducted in South Wales, United Kingdom. Men aged 50 to 75 who had not previously had a PSA test were randomly allocated to two intervention and two control groups. Participants in the intervention groups either viewed Prosdex or were given a paper version of the text. The main outcome measures were the three components of informed decision making: (1) knowledge of prostate cancer and PSA, (2) attitude toward PSA testing, (3) behavior using a proxy measure, intention to undergo PSA testing. Decisional conflict and anxiety were also measured as was uptake of the PSA test. Outcomes were measured by means of an online questionnaire for the Prosdex group, the paper version group, and one of two control groups. Six months later, PSA test uptake was ascertained from general practitioners’ records, and the online questionnaire was repeated. Results are reported in terms of the Mann-Whitney U-statistic divided by the product of the two sample sizes (U/mm), line of no effect 0.50.
Participants were 514 men. Compared with the control group that completed the initial online questionnaire, men in the Prosdex group had increased knowledge about the PSA test and prostate cancer (U/mn 0.70; 95% CI 0.62 - 0.76); less favourable attitudes to PSA testing (U/mn 0.39, 95% CI 0.31 - 0.47); were less likely to undergo PSA testing (U/mn 0.40, 95% CI 0.32 - 0.48); and had less decisional conflict (U/mn 0.32, 95% CI 0.25 - 0.40); while anxiety level did not differ (U/mn 0.50, 95% CI 0.42 - 0.58). For these outcomes there were no significant differences between men in the Prosdex group and the paper version group. However, in the Prosdex group, increased knowledge was associated with a less favourable attitude toward testing (Spearman rank correlation [ρ] = -0.49, P < .001) and lower intention to undergo testing (ρ = -0.27, P = .02). After six months, PSA test uptake was lower in the Prosdex group than in the paper version and the questionnaire control group (P = .014). Test uptake was also lower in the control group that did not complete a questionnaire than in the control group that did, suggesting a possible Hawthorne effect of the questionnaire in favour of PSA testing.
Exposure to Prosdex was associated with improved knowledge about the PSA test and prostate cancer. Men who had a high level of knowledge had a less favourable attitude toward and were less likely to undergo PSA testing. Prosdex appears to promote informed decision making regarding the PSA test.
Trial Registration
ISRCTN48473735; (Archived by WebCite at
PMCID: PMC2956331  PMID: 20693148
Decision aid; Informed decision making; Internet; Prostate cancer; Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test
11.  A Prospective Study of Plasma Vitamin D Metabolites, Vitamin D Receptor Polymorphisms, and Prostate Cancer 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(3):e103.
Vitamin D insufficiency is a common public health problem nationwide. Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25[OH]D), the most commonly used index of vitamin D status, is converted to the active hormone 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25[OH]2D), which, operating through the vitamin D receptor (VDR), inhibits in vitro cell proliferation, induces differentiation and apoptosis, and may protect against prostate cancer. Despite intriguing results from laboratory studies, previous epidemiological studies showed inconsistent associations of circulating levels of 25(OH)D, 1,25(OH)2D, and several VDR polymorphisms with prostate cancer risk. Few studies have explored the joint association of circulating vitamin D levels with VDR polymorphisms.
Methods and Findings
During 18 y of follow-up of 14,916 men initially free of diagnosed cancer, we identified 1,066 men with incident prostate cancer (including 496 with aggressive disease, defined as stage C or D, Gleason 7–10, metastatic, and fatal prostate cancer) and 1,618 cancer-free, age- and smoking-matched control participants in the Physicians' Health Study. We examined the associations of prediagnostic plasma levels of 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D, individually and jointly, with total and aggressive disease, and explored whether relations between vitamin D metabolites and prostate cancer were modified by the functional VDR FokI polymorphism, using conditional logistic regression. Among these US physicians, the median plasma 25(OH)D levels were 25 ng/ml in the blood samples collected during the winter or spring and 32 ng/ml in samples collected during the summer or fall. Nearly 13% (summer/fall) to 36% (winter/spring) of the control participants were deficient in 25(OH)D (<20 ng/ml) and 51% (summer/fall) and 77% (winter/spring) had insufficient plasma 25(OH)D levels (<32 ng/ml). Plasma levels of 1,25(OH)2D did not vary by season. Men whose levels for both 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D were below (versus above) the median had a significantly increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer (odds ratio [OR] = 2.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2–3.4), although the interaction between the two vitamin D metabolites was not statistically significant (pinteraction = 0.23). We observed a significant interaction between circulating 25(OH)D levels and the VDR FokI genotype (pinteraction < 0.05). Compared with those with plasma 25(OH)D levels above the median and with the FokI FF or Ff genotype, men who had low 25(OH)D levels and the less functional FokI ff genotype had increased risks of total (OR = 1.9, 95% CI 1.1–3.3) and aggressive prostate cancer (OR = 2.5, 95% CI 1.1–5.8). Among men with plasma 25(OH)D levels above the median, the ff genotype was no longer associated with risk. Conversely, among men with the ff genotype, high plasma 25(OH)D level (above versus below the median) was related to significant 60%∼70% lower risks of total and aggressive prostate cancer.
Our data suggest that a large proportion of the US men had suboptimal vitamin D status (especially during the winter/spring season), and both 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D may play an important role in preventing prostate cancer progression. Moreover, vitamin D status, measured by 25(OH)D in plasma, interacts with the VDR FokI polymorphism and modifies prostate cancer risk. Men with the less functional FokI ff genotype (14% in the European-descent population of this cohort) are more susceptible to this cancer in the presence of low 25(OH)D status.
Results of this study by Haojie Li and colleagues suggest that vitamin D deficiency is common among men in the US, and that vitamin D status and genetic variation in theVDR gene affect prostate cancer risk.
Editors' Summary
Prostate cancer occurs when cells in the prostate gland (part of the male reproductive system) accumulate genetic changes that allow them to grow into a disorganized mass of cells. Patients whose disease is diagnosed when these cells are still relatively normal can survive for many years, but for patients with aggressive cancers—ones containing fast-growing cells that can migrate around the body—the outlook is poor. Factors that increase prostate cancer risk include increasing age, having a family history of prostate cancer, and being African American. Also, there are hints that some environmental or dietary factors affect prostate cancer risk. One of these factors is vitamin D, of which high levels are found in seafood and dairy products, but which can also be made naturally by the body—more specifically, by sunlight-exposed skin. One reason researchers think vitamin D might protect against prostate cancer is that this cancer is more common in sun-starved northern countries (where people often have a vitamin D deficiency) than in sunny regions. Prostate cancer is also more common in African American men than in those of European descent (when exposed to the same amount of sunlight, individuals with darker skin make less vitamin D than those with lighter skin). Once in the human body, vitamin D is converted into the vitamin D metabolite 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25[OH]D) and then into the active hormone 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25[OH]2D). This binds to vitamin D receptors (VDRs) and inhibits cell proliferation and migration.
Why Was This Study Done?
The effect of 1,25(OH)2D on cells and the observation that related chemicals slow prostate cancer growth in rodents suggest that vitamin D protects against prostate cancer. But circulating levels of vitamin D metabolites in human male populations do not always reflect how many men develop prostate cancer. This lack of correlation may partly be because different forms of the VDR gene exist. One area of variation in the VDR gene is called the FokI polymorphism. Because everyone carries two copies of the VDR gene, individuals may have a FokI FF, FokI Ff, or FokI ff genotype. The f variant (or allele) codes for a receptor that is less responsive to 1,25(OH)2D than the receptor encoded by the FokI F allele. So levels of vitamin D sufficient to prevent cancer in one person may be insufficient in someone with a different FokI genotype. In this study, the researchers have investigated how levels of 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D in combination with different VDR FokI alleles are influencing prostate cancer risk.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 1,066 men who developed prostate cancer between enrollment into the US Physicians' Health Study in 1982 and 2000, and 1,618 cancer-free men of the same ages and smoking levels as “controls.” They measured vitamin D metabolite levels in many of the blood samples taken from these men in 1982 and determined their FokI genotype. Two-thirds of the men had insufficient blood levels of vitamin D metabolites in the winter/spring; almost one-third had a vitamin D deficiency. Men whose blood levels of both metabolites were below average were twice as likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer as those in whom both levels were above average. Compared with men with high blood levels of 25(OH)D and the FokI FF or Ff genotype, men with low 25(OH)D levels and the FokI ff genotype were 2.5 times as likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. However, men with the ff genotype were not at higher risk if they had sufficient 25(OH)D levels. Among men with the ff genotype, sufficient 25(OH)D levels might therefore protect against prostate cancer, especially against the clinically aggressive form.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings confirm that many US men have suboptimal levels of circulating vitamin D. This vitamin is essential for healthy bones, so irrespective of its effects on prostate cancer, vitamin D supplements might improve overall health. In addition, this large and lengthy study reveals an association between low levels of the two vitamin D metabolites and aggressive prostate cancer that is consistent with vitamin D helping to prevent the progression of prostate cancer. It also indicates that the VDR FokI genotype modifies the prostate cancer risk associated with different blood levels of vitamin D. Together, these results suggest that improving vitamin D status through increased exposure to sun and vitamin D supplements might reduce prostate cancer risk, particularly in men with the FokI ff genotype. Because the study participants were mainly of European descent, the researchers caution that these results may not apply to other ethnic groups and note that further detailed studies are needed to understand fully how vitamin D affects prostate cancer risk across the population.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
MedlinePlus encyclopedia has pages on prostate cancer and on vitamin D
Information for patients and physicians is available from the US National Cancer Institute on prostate cancer and on cancer prevention
The Prostate Cancer Foundation's information on prostate cancer discusses the effects of nutrition on the disease
Patient information on prostate cancer is available from Cancer Research UK
Cancerbackup also has patient information on prostate cancer
PMCID: PMC1831738  PMID: 17388667
12.  Men’s knowledge and attitudes towards dietary prevention of a prostate cancer diagnosis: a qualitative study 
BMC Cancer  2014;14(1):812.
Prostate cancer (PC) incidence and progression may be influenced by dietary factors, but little is known about the acceptability of dietary modification to men at increased risk of PC. Qualitative interviews with men participating in the ProDiet study were undertaken to explore the feasibility of implementing dietary interventions for the prevention of prostate cancer.
An interview study nested within the ProDiet randomised feasibility trial of dietary interventions to prevent a PC diagnosis. Men (n = 133) who previously participated in community based prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing without PC but who were at increased risk of the disease were randomly allocation to both lycopene (lycopene or placebo capsules or lycopene rich diet) and green tea (green tea or placebo capsules or green tea drink) for 6 months. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants shortly after randomisation, to investigate attitudes towards dietary modification for PC prevention and dietary information. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed to identify common themes.
Interviews were conducted with 21 participants aged 52-72 years with PSA levels between 2.5 and 2.95 ng/ml, or a negative prostate biopsy result. Most men identified the major causes of cancer in general to include diet, environment, ageing and genetic factors. This contrasted sharply with men’s uncertainty about PC aetiology, and the function of the prostate. Men were confused by conflicting messages in the media about dietary practices to promote health overall, but were positive about the potential of lycopene and green tea in relation to PC prevention, valuing their natural components. Furthermore these men wanted tailored dietary advice for PC prevention from their clinicians, whom they considered a trusted source of information.
Men at elevated risk of PC reported uncertainty about PC aetiology and the role of diet in PC prevention, but enthusiasm for dietary modifications that were perceived as ‘simple’ and ‘natural’. The men looked to clinicians to provide consistent disease specific dietary advice. These factors should be taken into consideration by clinicians discussing elevated PSA results with patients and those planning to embark on future trials investigating dietary modification interventions for the prevention of a PC diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC4232627  PMID: 25374269
Diet; Green Tea; Lycopene; Prostatic neoplasms; Qualitative research
13.  Predictive value of breast cancer cognitions and attitudes toward genetic testing on women’s interest in genetic testing for breast cancer risk 
In the past years advances in genetic technologies have led to an increased interest in predictive genetic testing for breast cancer risk. Studies in the US and UK reported an increasing interest among women of the general public in genetic testing for breast cancer risk, although the benefit of such a test is questionable for low risk women.
The aim of the present study was to identify factors that predict interest in genetic testing of German women in the general public. Women with neither a family history of breast cancer nor breast cancer themselves received an information letter by mail, were interviewed by telephone, and completed a self-administered questionnaire (N=377).
Structural equation modeling was used to determine the predictive value of attitudinal and cognitive variables on interest in genetic testing for breast cancer risk. The resulting model achieved good fit indices, and 42% of variance could be explained. Women with more expectations concerning the test, more positive attitudes concerning genetic testing in general, an increased breast cancer risk perception, and increased breast cancer worries showed more interest in testing.
These findings suggest the need for information and counseling strategies for low risk women which should focus in particular on decreasing unrealistic expectations concerning genetic testing for breast cancer risk but also on decreasing perceived breast cancer risk and breast cancer worries.
PMCID: PMC2736481  PMID: 19742051
14.  A Systems Genetics Approach Identifies CXCL14, ITGAX, and LPCAT2 as Novel Aggressive Prostate Cancer Susceptibility Genes 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(11):e1004809.
Although prostate cancer typically runs an indolent course, a subset of men develop aggressive, fatal forms of this disease. We hypothesize that germline variation modulates susceptibility to aggressive prostate cancer. The goal of this work is to identify susceptibility genes using the C57BL/6-Tg(TRAMP)8247Ng/J (TRAMP) mouse model of neuroendocrine prostate cancer. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping was performed in transgene-positive (TRAMPxNOD/ShiLtJ) F2 intercross males (n = 228), which facilitated identification of 11 loci associated with aggressive disease development. Microarray data derived from 126 (TRAMPxNOD/ShiLtJ) F2 primary tumors were used to prioritize candidate genes within QTLs, with candidate genes deemed as being high priority when possessing both high levels of expression-trait correlation and a proximal expression QTL. This process enabled the identification of 35 aggressive prostate tumorigenesis candidate genes. The role of these genes in aggressive forms of human prostate cancer was investigated using two concurrent approaches. First, logistic regression analysis in two human prostate gene expression datasets revealed that expression levels of five genes (CXCL14, ITGAX, LPCAT2, RNASEH2A, and ZNF322) were positively correlated with aggressive prostate cancer and two genes (CCL19 and HIST1H1A) were protective for aggressive prostate cancer. Higher than average levels of expression of the five genes that were positively correlated with aggressive disease were consistently associated with patient outcome in both human prostate cancer tumor gene expression datasets. Second, three of these five genes (CXCL14, ITGAX, and LPCAT2) harbored polymorphisms associated with aggressive disease development in a human GWAS cohort consisting of 1,172 prostate cancer patients. This study is the first example of using a systems genetics approach to successfully identify novel susceptibility genes for aggressive prostate cancer. Such approaches will facilitate the identification of novel germline factors driving aggressive disease susceptibility and allow for new insights into these deadly forms of prostate cancer.
Author Summary
Prostate cancer is a remarkably common disease, and in 2014 it is estimated that it will account for 27% of new cancer cases in men in the US. However, less than 13% those diagnosed will succumb to prostate cancer, with most men dying from unrelated causes. The tests used to identify men at risk of fatal prostate cancer are inaccurate, which leads to overtreatment, unnecessary patient suffering, and represents a significant public health burden. Many studies have shown that hereditary genetic variation significantly alters susceptibility to fatal prostate cancer, although the identities of genes responsible for this are mostly unknown. Here, we used a mouse model of prostate cancer to identify such genes. We introduced hereditary genetic variation into this mouse model through breeding, and used a genetic mapping technique to identify 35 genes associated with aggressive disease. The levels of three of these genes were consistently abnormal in human prostate cancers with a more aggressive disease course. Additionally, hereditary differences in these same three genes were associated with markers of fatal prostate cancer in men. This approach has given us unique insights into how hereditary variation influences fatal forms of prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC4238980  PMID: 25411967
15.  Raising awareness of carrier testing for hereditary haemoglobinopathies in high-risk ethnic groups in the Netherlands: a pilot study among the general public and primary care providers 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:338.
In the Netherlands no formal recommendations exist concerning preconceptional or antenatal testing for carriership of hereditary haemoglobinopathies. Those at highest risk may be unaware of the possibility of carrier screening. While universal newborn screening has recently been introduced, neither preconceptional nor antenatal carrier testing is routinely offered by health care services to the general public. A municipal health service and a foundation for public information on medical genetics undertook a pilot project with the aim of increasing knowledge and encouraging informed choice. Two groups were targeted: members of the public from ethnic groups at increased risk, and primary health care providers. This study examines the effectiveness of culturally specific 'infotainment' to inform high-risk ethnic groups about their increased risk for haemoglobinopathies. In addition, the study explores attitudes and intentions of primary care providers towards haemoglobinopathy carrier testing of their patients from high-risk ethnic groups.
Informational sessions tailored to the public or professionals were organised in Amsterdam, and evaluated for their effect. Psychological parameters were measured using structured questionnaires based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour.
The pre-test/post-test questionnaire showed that members of the public gained understanding of inheritance and carriership of haemoglobinopathies from the "infotainment" session (p < 0.01). Perceived behavioural control, i.e. the feeling that they could actually get tested if they wanted to, increased in the targeted age group of 18-45 years (N = 41; p < 0.05). 191 surveys were collected from general practitioners or midwives. Their attitude towards the education programme for high-risk ethnic groups was positive, yet they did not show strong intention to effectuate carrier testing of their patients on the basis of ethnicity. The main factor which explained their (lack of) intention was social norm, i.e. their perception of negative peer opinion (41% variance explained). The majority of primary health care providers felt that policy change was unnecessary.
The "infotainment" programme may have a positive effect on people from high-risk groups, but informed general practitioners and midwives were reluctant to facilitate their patients' getting tested. Additional initiatives are needed to motivate primary care providers to facilitate haemoglobinopathy carrier testing for their patients from high-risk backgrounds.
PMCID: PMC2754459  PMID: 19754950
16.  High Prevalence of Screen Detected Prostate Cancer in West Africans: Implications for Racial Disparity of Prostate Cancer 
The Journal of urology  2014;192(3):730-735.
To our knowledge the reasons for the high rates of prostate cancer in black American men are unknown. Genetic and lifestyle factors have been implicated. Better understanding of prostate cancer rates in West African men would help clarify why black American men have such high rates since the groups share genetic ancestry and yet have different lifestyles and screening practices. To estimate the prostate cancer burden in West African men we performed a population based screening study with biopsy confirmation in Ghana.
Materials and Methods
We randomly selected 1,037 healthy men 50 to 74 years old from Accra, Ghana for prostate cancer screening with prostate specific antigen testing and digital rectal examination. Men with a positive screen result (positive digital rectal examination or prostate specific antigen greater than 2.5 ng/ml) underwent transrectal ultrasound guided biopsies.
Of the 1,037 men 154 (14.9%) had a positive digital rectal examination and 272 (26.2%) had prostate specific antigen greater than 2.5 ng/ml, including 166 with prostate specific antigen greater than 4.0 ng/ml. A total of 352 men (33.9%) had a positive screen by prostate specific antigen or digital rectal examination and 307 (87%) underwent biopsy. Of these men 73 were confirmed to have prostate cancer, yielding a 7.0% screen detected prostate cancer prevalence (65 patients), including 5.8% with prostate specific antigen greater than 4.0 ng/ml.
In this relatively unscreened population in Africa the screen detected prostate cancer prevalence is high, suggesting a possible role of genetics in prostate cancer etiology and the disparity in prostate cancer risk between black and white American men. Further studies are needed to confirm the high prostate cancer burden in African men and the role of genetics in prostate cancer etiology.
PMCID: PMC4332806  PMID: 24747091
prostatic neoplasms; prostate-specific antigen; mass screening; African Americans; Africa
17.  Survey mode and asking about future intentions did not impact self-reported colorectal cancer screening accuracy 
Self-reported colorectal cancer (CRC) screening behavior is often subject to over-reporting bias. We examined how the inclusion of a future intention to screen item (viz. asking about future intentions to get screened before asking about past screening) and mode of survey administration impacted the accuracy of self-reported CRC screening.
The target population was men and women between 49 and 85 years of age who lived in Olmsted County, MN, for at least 10 years at the time of the study. Eligible residents were randomized into four groups representing the presence or absence the future intention to screen item in the questionnaire and administration mode (mail vs. telephone). A total of 3,638 cases were available for analysis with 914, 838, 956, and 930 in the mail/future intention, mail/no future intention, telephone/future intention, and telephone/no future intention conditions, respectively. False positives were defined as self-reporting being screened among those with no documented history of screening in medical records and false negatives as not self-reporting screening among those with history of screening.
Comparing false positive and false negative reporting rates for each specific screening test among the responders at the bivariate level, regardless of mode, there were no statistically significant differences by the presence or absence of a preceding future intention question. When considering all tests combined, the percentage of false negatives within the telephone mode was slightly higher for those with the future intention question (6.7% vs 4.2%, p = 0.04). Multivariate models that considered the independent impact of the future intention question and mode, affirmed the results observed at the bivariate level. However, individuals in the telephone arm (compared to mail) were slightly (though not significantly) more likely to report a false positive (36.4% vs 31.8%, OR = 1.11, p = 0.55).
It may be that in the context of a questionnaire that is clearly focused on CRC and with specific descriptions of the various CRC screening tests, certain design features such as including intention to screen items or mode of administration will have very little impact on the accuracy of self-reported CRC screening.
PMCID: PMC3918109  PMID: 24499399
Data collection; survey methodology; cancer screening; self-report accuracy; mail surveys; telephone surveys
18.  Genetic Variants and Family History predict Prostate Cancer similar to PSA 
While PSA is the best biomarker for predicting prostate cancer, its predictive performance needs to be improved. Results from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) revealed the overall performance measured by the areas under curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) at 0.68. The goal of the present study is to assess the ability of genetic variants as a PSA independent method to predict prostate cancer risk.
Experimental Design
We systematically evaluated all prostate cancer risk variants that were identified from genome-wide association studies during the past year in a large population-based prostate cancer case-control study population in Sweden, including 2,893 prostate cancer patients and 1,781 men without prostate cancer.
Twelve SNPs were independently associated with prostate cancer risk in this Swedish study population. Using a cutoff of any 11 risk alleles or family history, the sensitivity and specificity for predicting prostate cancer were 0.25 and 0.86, respectively. The overall predictive performance of prostate cancer using genetic variants, family history, and age, measured by AUC was 0.65 (95% CI: 0.63–0.66), significantly improved over that of family history and age (0.61%, 95% CI: 0.59–0.62), P = 2.3 × 10−10.
The predictive performance for prostate cancer using genetic variants and family history is similar to that of PSA. The utility of genetic testing, alone and in combination with PSA levels, should be evaluated in large studies such as the European Randomized Study for Prostate Cancer trial and PCPT.
PMCID: PMC3187807  PMID: 19188186
prostate cancer; prediction; PSA; association
19.  The associations between statin use and prostate cancer screening, prostate size, high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), and prostate cancer. 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2010;22(3):417-426.
Prior studies report statins may reduce the risk of advanced prostate cancer. This study investigates the association between statin use and the likelihood of having a PSA or DRE test, blood PSA levels, prostate volume, and the severity of lower urinary tract symptoms. We also describe the association between statin use and prostate cancer and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) before and after controlling for prostate cancer screening indices associated with statin use.
The Nashville Men's Health Study used a multicenter, rapid recruitment protocol to collect clinical, biological, behavioral and body measurement data from 2,148 men 40 years or older scheduled for diagnostic prostate biopsy. Medication use and other data were ascertained by research survey, clinical interview, and chart review.
Approximately 37% of participants were taking a statin. Statin use was significantly associated with a 12% lower PSA levels and 8% smaller prostate volume after controlling for age, race, BMI, WHR, aspirin use, other comorbidity. Simvastatin was more strongly associated with prostate volume, while atorvastatin was associated with PSA. Statin use was marginally associated with increasing PSA test frequency among men with undiagnosed cancer. Statin use was not associated with the frequency or results of digital rectal exams, lower urinary tract symptom severity, high-grade (Gleason >6) prostate cancer (OR=0.95 (0.73, 1.24)), low-grade (Gleason = 6) prostate cancer (OR=1.11 (0.86, 1.42)) or PIN (OR=0.82, (0.57, 1.17)). Additional control for the number of prior PSA tests, PSA levels, and prostate volume did not alter these results.
These results suggest selective referral for biopsy associated with statin use is an essential element to address in further understanding the potential for statins to prevent prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3042514  PMID: 21170754
prostate cancer; PSA; Statin; prostate volume; bias
20.  Validation of prostate cancer risk-related loci identified from genome-wide association studies using family-based association analysis: evidence from the International Consortium for Prostate Cancer Genetics (ICPCG) 
Human genetics  2011;131(7):1095-1103.
Multiple prostate cancer (PCa) risk-related loci have been discovered by genome-wide association studies (GWAS) based on case–control designs. However, GWAS findings may be confounded by population stratification if cases and controls are inadvertently drawn from different genetic backgrounds. In addition, since these loci were identified in cases with predominantly sporadic disease, little is known about their relationships with hereditary prostate cancer (HPC). The association between seventeen reported PCa susceptibility loci was evaluated with a family-based association test using 1,979 hereditary PCa families of European descent collected by members of the International Consortium for Prostate Cancer Genetics, with a total of 5,730 affected men. The risk alleles for 8 of the 17 loci were significantly over-transmitted from parents to affected offspring, including SNPs residing in 8q24 (regions 1, 2 and 3), 10q11, 11q13, 17q12 (region 1), 17q24 and Xp11. In subgroup analyses, three loci, at 8q24 (regions 1 and 2) plus 17q12, were significantly over-transmitted in hereditary PCa families with five or more affected members, while loci at 3p12, 8q24 (region 2), 11q13, 17q12 (region 1), 17q24 and Xp11 were significantly over-transmitted in HPC families with an average age of diagnosis at 65 years or less. Our results indicate that at least a subset of PCa risk-related loci identified by case–control GWAS are also associated with disease risk in HPC families.
PMCID: PMC3535428  PMID: 22198737
21.  Education concerning carcinoma of prostate and its early detection 
Introduction and objectives
Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer. Insufficient knowledge of PCa among men causes its low detection. Lack of essential actions in health education and widely understood prophylaxis, the need of the latter are maybe responsible for the increasing mortality rate. According to our assumption, educating men increase their awareness on the need of screening tests and results in increasing reporting to physical examinations. This in turn allows for an early detection of the disease.
Material and methods
A research was conducted between the years 2003-2009 on the knowledge of PCa among 260 men. They were divided into two groups. Group A – 63 patients treated for carcinoma of prostate and group B – 197 men reporting spontaneously to screening tests. In order to check the adopted hypothesis, we prepared an educational material and test of knowledge – test with a questionnaire. Knowledge was evaluated before (test I) and after the education process (test II). Until 2009, we were monitoring the number of patients from group B reporting to screening tests and their knowledge was once again checked (test III). Two subgroups C and D were created from group B – 117 healthy men and 80 with diagnosed diseases respectively (70 with benign prostatic hyperplasia, 7 with prostatitis, and 3 with carcinoma of prostate). Patients with prostatitis and PCa and 3 patients from group C not reporting to the tests were excluded from further monitoring. Maths statistics with the use of SPSS 12.0 PL program and Statistica 6.0 constituted the base for working out the results.
We observed a higher knowledge about carcinoma of prostate in group A than in group B (p <0.0001) and it increased after 5 years in group D (p <0.0001) in comparison to group C. Patients aged >40 from groups C and D were interested in health care (p<0.01) as much as patients aged 40-49, 50-59 and 60-69. In men >70 a lower level of motivation was observed. The interest was proportional to the level of education, and this was differentiating in an analogical way the motivation to extend knowledge about prostate cancer (p<0.001). The place of living was determining the level of motivation for broadening knowledge – in bigger towns in a greater extent (p <0.01). The frequency of reporting to screening tests during a period of 5 years was comparable in groups C and D, regardless of knowledge tests’ results. Health risk awareness following the education process was motivating men to undergo screening tests (p <0.05). This confirms our own research hypothesis. Regardless of the age bracket, the obtained result of knowledge test II was higher than test I and the result of test III was lower than test II, respectively: p <0.01; p <0.08; p <0.01; p <0.001. The level of knowledge test III among all examined patients was higher in comparison to test I – p <0.01; p <0.001; p <0.001 respectively. White-collar workers obtained in test I a result higher than blue-collar workers, unemployed or retired people p <0.001 and p <0.01 respectively. Unemployed and retired people obtained more scores than blue-collar workers (p <0.05). Both in professional workers and retired people test III was higher than test I – p <0.001 and p <0.001 respectively. In 7 examined men prostate cancer was diagnosed; in group B in 3 in an advanced state, and during 5 years in group C – in 4 men at an early development stage.
In the examined men, we observed an almost complete lack of knowledge about carcinoma of prostate, hence they did not report to screening tests.The education process influenced the level of knowledge about carcinoma of prostate. The examined men >40, inhabitants of bigger towns with higher education, less with secondary education and still less with elementary education showed interest in improving their health knowledge.Due to increasing knowledge about carcinoma of prostate, patients were undertaking systematic tests – on average once a year. It confirmed the fact that education on prostate cancer influences its early detection.Education on carcinoma of prostate on a large scale may lead to decreasing morbidity and mortality rates.
PMCID: PMC3921699  PMID: 24578854
prostate cancer; early detection; health education; state of knowledge; prophylaxis
22.  The PSA testing dilemma: GPs' reports of consultations with asymptomatic men: a qualitative study 
BMC Family Practice  2007;8:35.
The National Health Service Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme (PCRMP) has recommended that screening for prostate cancer is available for asymptomatic men, on the understanding that they have been provided with full and balanced information about the advantages and limitations of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Guidance has been distributed to all GPs in England and Wales to assist in the provision of information to men. This study aimed to elicit GPs' accounts of their discussions with asymptomatic men who consult with concerns about prostate cancer in order to identify the degree to which the PCRMP guidance was reflected in these consultations.
Qualitative interview study. Semi-structured telephone interviews with 21 GPs from 18 GP practices in Oxfordshire.
All GPs reported undertaking some discussion with asymptomatic men about the PSA test. They described focussing most of the discussion on the false-positive and false-negative rates of the test, and the risks associated with a prostate biopsy. They reported less discussion of the potential for diagnosing indolent cancers, the dilemmas regarding treatment options for localised prostate cancer and the potential benefits of testing. Considerable variation existed between GPs in their accounts of the degree of detail given, and GP's presentation of information appeared to be affected by their personal views of the PSA test.
The GPs in this study appear to recognise the importance of discussions regarding PSA testing; however, a full and balanced picture of the associated advantages and limitations does not seem to be consistently conveyed. Factors specific to PSA testing which appeared to have an impact on the GPs' discussions were the GP's personal opinions of the PSA test, and the need to counter men's primarily positive views of the benefits of PSA testing. Awareness of the impact of their views on the consultations may help GPs give men a more balanced presentation of the benefits and limitations of the PSA test.
PMCID: PMC1925086  PMID: 17593306
23.  Polymorphisms of HPC2/ELAC2 and SRD5A2 (5α-Reductase Type II) Genes in Prostate Cancer 
Prostate cancer is the proliferation of malignant cells in the prostate gland. The HPC2/ELAC2 gene on chromosome 17p11.2 and SRD5A2 gene on chromosome 2p22–23 are predisposing genetic factors. We examined the relationship between Ser217Leu and Ala541Thr polymorphisms of the former gene, and Ala49Thr and Val89Leu polymorphisms of the latter gene to prostate cancer in Turkish men, using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method and appropriate restriction enzymes. The HPC2/ELAC2 gene Ser217-Leu and SRD5A2 gene Ala49Thr polymorphisms were associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer in Turkish men [for the HPC2/ELAC2 gene Ser217Leu polymorphism: odds ratio (OR) 2.7; confidence interval 95% (CI 95%) 1.6–4.8; p 0.000<0.05, and for the SRD5A2 gene Ala49Thr polymorphism: OR 2.4; CI 95% 1.2–4.9; p 0.004<0.05].
PMCID: PMC3776688  PMID: 24052700
Prostate cancer; HPC2/ELAC2 gene; SRD5A2 gene; Polymorphism
24.  Addressing the contribution of previously described genetic and epidemiological risk factors associated with increased prostate cancer risk and aggressive disease within men from South Africa 
BMC Urology  2013;13:74.
Although African ancestry represents a significant risk factor for prostate cancer, few studies have investigated the significance of prostate cancer and relevance of previously defined genetic and epidemiological prostate cancer risk factors within Africa. We recently established the Southern African Prostate Cancer Study (SAPCS), a resource for epidemiological and genetic analysis of prostate cancer risk and outcomes in Black men from South Africa. Biased towards highly aggressive prostate cancer disease, this is the first reported data analysis.
The SAPCS is an ongoing population-based study of Black men with or without prostate cancer. Pilot analysis was performed for the first 837 participants, 522 cases and 315 controls. We investigate 46 pre-defined prostate cancer risk alleles and up to 24 epidemiological measures including demographic, lifestyle and environmental factors, for power to predict disease status and to drive on-going SAPCS recruitment, sampling procedures and research direction.
Preliminary results suggest that no previously defined risk alleles significantly predict prostate cancer occurrence within the SAPCS. Furthermore, genetic risk profiles did not enhance the predictive power of prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing. Our study supports several lifestyle/environmental factors contributing to prostate cancer risk including a family history of cancer, diabetes, current sexual activity and erectile dysfunction, balding pattern, frequent aspirin usage and high PSA levels.
Despite a clear increased prostate cancer risk associated with an African ancestry, experimental data is lacking within Africa. This pilot study is therefore a significant contribution to the field. While genetic risk factors (largely European-defined) show no evidence for disease prediction in the SAPCS, several epidemiological factors were associated with prostate cancer status. We call for improved study power by building on the SAPCS resource, further validation of associated factors in independent African-based resources, and genome-wide approaches to define African-specific risk alleles.
PMCID: PMC3882498  PMID: 24373635
Prostate cancer; African ancestry; Risk factors; Aggressive disease; Genetics; Epidemiology; Pilot analysis; Southern Africa
25.  Patient and provider attitudes toward genomic testing for prostate cancer susceptibility: a mixed method study 
The strong association between family history and prostate cancer (PCa) suggests a significant genetic contribution, yet specific highly penetrant PCa susceptibility genes have not been identified. Certain single-nucleotide-polymorphisms have been found to correlate with PCa risk; however uncertainty remains regarding their clinical utility and how to best incorporate this information into clinical decision-making. Genetic testing is available directly to consumers and both patients and healthcare providers are becoming more aware of this technology. Purchasing online allows patients to bypass their healthcare provider yet patients may have difficulty interpreting test results and providers may be called upon to interpret results. Determining optimal ways to educate both patients and providers, and strategies for appropriately incorporating this information into clinical decision-making are needed.
A mixed-method study was conducted in Utah between October 2011 and December 2011. Eleven focus group discussions were held and surveys were administered to 23 first-degree relatives of PCa patients living in Utah and 24 primary-care physicians and urologists practicing in Utah to present specific information about these assessments and determine knowledge and attitudes regarding health implications of using these assessments.
Data was independently coded by two researchers (relative Kappa = .88; provider Kappa = .77) and analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Results indicated differences in attitudes and behavioral intentions between patient and provider. Despite the test’s limitations relatives indicated interest in genetic testing (52%) while most providers indicated they would not recommend the test for their patients (79%). Relatives expected providers to interpret genetic test results and use results to provide personalized healthcare recommendations while the majority of providers did not think the information would be useful in patient care (92%) and indicated low-levels of genetic self-efficacy.
Although similarities exist, discordance between provider and patient attitudes may influence the effective translation of novel genomic tests into clinical practice suggesting both patient and provider perceptions and expectations be considered in development of clinical decision-support tools.
PMCID: PMC3750463  PMID: 23870420
Genomics; Prostate cancer; Cancer screening; Attitudes; Providers

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