Prostate cancer survivors' beliefs about screening and treatment decision-making experiences in an era of controversy

Heather Orom, Willie Underwood, D. Lynn Homish, Marc T. Kiviniemi, Gregory G. Homish, Christian J. Nelson, Zvi Schiffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective Controversy about the costs and benefits of screening and treatment of prostate cancer (PCa) has recently intensified. However, the impact of the debate on PCa patients has not been systematically studied. Methods We assessed knowledge of, and attitudes toward, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's (USPSTF) May 2012 recommendation against PSA-based screening among men diagnosed with clinically localized PCa, and tested whether exposure to the recommendation and associated controversy about overtreatment of PCa predicted treatment decisional conflict, affected treatment choice, or increased regret about PSA testing. Results Accurate knowledge of the USPSTF recommendation was uncommon (19.1%). Attitudes toward the recommendation were negative, and the vast majority (86.5%) remained highly supportive of annual PSA testing in men ≥50. Although exposure to the recommendation and controversy about treatment was associated with lower enthusiasm for screening and treatment, it was not associated with treatment decisions, or greater decisional-conflict, or regret. Conclusions Findings may alleviate concern that exposure to PSA-based screening and overtreatment controversies has adversely affected recent cohorts of PCa patients. However, patients remain highly supportive of PSA-based screening. As survivor anecdotes often influence people's medical decisions, it is important to appreciate the scale of opposition to the new recommendation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1073-1079
Number of pages7
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • cancer screening
  • decision making
  • oncology
  • prostate cancer
  • prostate-specific antigen (PSA)
  • survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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