BERKELEY, CA (UroToday.com) - In our study, we investigated the relationship between educational levels vs knowledge of prostate cancer, the presence or absence of prostate cancer screening, and the age at which screening commenced. Although common sense tells us that there is a clear relationship between educational levels and health knowledge, there is not much evidence evaluating this topic, specifically in relation to prostate cancer. Despite being controversial, since this is a factor significantly related to socio-cultural level of the country in which the patient lives, our paper seeks to objectively show the impact of education on screening for a disease that has a major impact on the male population.
We evaluated a total of 377 subjects, all older than 49, who were treated at different health centers of Santiago de Chile for reasons other than urological causes. A questionnaire was applied asking for age, educational level, knowledge of the disease, presence or absence of prostate control, and age of onset of this. Of all the subjects, 30.5% had a junior-level school education, 40.3% had high school education, 16.2% had a technical education, and 13% college-bachelor education. The average age of respondents was 64.6 years (50-90 years), with no statistical differences observed between the average age by educational level (p < 0.05).
The group of junior school-educated subjects were only screened at a rate of 59.1% with an average onset age of 72.8 years. The high school group was screened at a rate of 52.6% with an average onset age of 54 years. The technical group was screened at a rate of 67.2% and had an average onset age of 56.3. Finally, 89.8% of the college-bachelor group was screened with an average age of onset at 55 years.
71.3% with junior school education stated that they had heard or read about the disease, 80.9% in the high school group, 85.2% in the technical education group, and 95.9% in college-bachelor education group. Of the patients, 80.6% said they had heard or read about the pathology, and in this subgroup 68.4% had initiated controls, while 34.2% had initiated controls in the group who denied knowledge.
Prostate cancer is a global public health problem. Since this disease usually has no symptoms in its early stages, the screening of asymptomatic patients is essential for effective healing therapies. It was observed that the higher the educational level and greater awareness of the disease, the greater the proportion of patients in control, and at an earlier age. It is essential to instruct patients about prostate cancer, especially those with fewer educational resources in order to reduce the specific mortality from this disease.
Camilo Novoa Brunet as part of Beyond the Abstract on UroToday.com. This initiative offers a method of publishing for the professional urology community. Authors are given an opportunity to expand on the circumstances, limitations etc... of their research by referencing the published abstract.
Servicio de Urología Hospital DIPRECA, Santiago de Chile