A new study has found that one in five men as young as 40, have already undergone a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test.
While analysing the sample of 58,511 men aged 40 and above from 2002 Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System, the team led by doctors Judd Moul and Charles Scales of Duke Prostate Center and Urologic Surgery at Duke University has found that one in five men had undergone screening in the previous year.
In particular, young, black, non-Hispanic men were more likely than young white, non-Hispanic men to report having a PSA test in the previous year.
The authors also revealed that the results were reassuring, showing that physicians were more likely to recommend screening among black men due to the group's elevated risk for prostate cancer.
The probability of undergoing a PSA test was also higher with increasing obesity, as well as with higher household income and education level.
"Our study is the first to specifically examine PSA screening in younger men, which provides an important assessment of quality of care, especially for high-risk groups," the authors wrote.
"Further investigation will be required to understand the impact of new risk-stratification strategies, with particular focus on the policy implications of potentially large increases in health care resource use," they added.
The study appears in the September issue of the journal Cancer.