A newly published survey has revealed that 70% of men in at-risk age groups are unaware they have the right to ask for a potentially lifesaving blood test used to diagnose prostate cancer.
It also found a fifth of men who went to their GP to request a PSA blood reading were turned down.
Men from more deprived backgrounds were increasingly likely to lack knowledge and information about the test, the research said.
Instead they were three times less likely to request a PSA test than men from wealthier and more affluent socio-economic groups.
John Neate, chief executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity, which commissioned the poll, said: “Our survey highlights the critical role GPs play in providing balanced information to men about the PSA test.
“It is completely unacceptable that so many men at risk of prostate cancer are unaware of their right to request a PSA test.
“We must move swiftly to a position of ‘universal informed choice’ where all men are made aware of their right to request a test and to be given clear information about its usefulness and limitations so they can decide whether having the test is right for them.”