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PLoS One. 2019 Mar 7;14(3):e0211539. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211539. eCollection 2019.

Prostate cancer awareness, case-finding, and early diagnosis: Interviews with undiagnosed men in Australia.

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Clinical Registry Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.


Previous research in Victoria, Australia, found differences in prostate cancer outcomes in regional and metropolitan areas. This investigation of undiagnosed men in regional areas and a metropolitan area of South Australia sought their perspectives on prostate cancer. Our aim was to learn whether men who had not been diagnosed could shed light on why men outside metropolitan areas tended to have poorer outcomes than metropolitan men. Our goal was to build on evidence contributing to improving outcomes in prostate cancer care. Semi-structured interviews were designed to elicit explanation and meaning. 15 men (10 metropolitan, 5 regional) not diagnosed with prostate cancer were recruited through widely-distributed flyers in medical and community settings. Interviews were recorded and transcribed; transcripts were analysed thematically. Five main themes were identified, four of which were prompted by the questions: Addressing prostate health, Experiences with and expectations of GPs, Differences in care between regional and metropolitan areas, and Achieving early diagnosis. The fifth theme arose spontaneously: Australian masculinity. Men identified as problematic the limited availability of GPs in regional areas, the lack of consistency in approaches to prostate cancer detection, and men's reluctance to seek medical care. Community-level strategies appear to be valued to encourage men to address prostate health. Maintaining and extending a systemic approach to prostate care may improve outcomes for men in Australia.

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