High response rates for preventive medical screening

15/09/2003 10:00

Relatively many women in the Netherlands respond to call-ups for preventive screening for cervical and breast cancer. Fewer men are preventively examined for prostate cancer.

Six in ten women have cervical smear tests

Nearly 60 percent of Dutch women aged twenty years or older has had one or more smear tests in the last five years. Nearly 40 percent have had one test, 20 percent had two or more.

Smear tests in the last five years, 2002

Smear tests in the last five years, 2002

Women between thirty and sixty years of age are called up for cervical cancer screening once every five years.

In 2002, 80 percent of women attended the examinations. Women who did not respond had various reasons for not doing so. The most often mentioned reason was the unpleasantness of the examination.

Breast examination

Forty-two percent of women aged thirty years and older had a mammography taken in the last two years. Women aged between fifty and 74 in particular underwent these breast examinations.

Mammography in the last two years, 2002

Mammography in the last two years, 2002

Women aged up to 75 years are cvalled up for breast cancer screening. These sessions were the main reason women gave for undergoing a mammography: 67 percent. A lump in the breast or other symptoms accounted for 10 percent of reasons given.

PSA test

From the age of forty onwards, the share of men taking a PSA test increases with age. Some 4 percent of men aged between 40 and 49 took this test at least once in the last five years. For men aged seventy and older this is nearly a third.

PSA test in the last five years, 2002

PSA test in the last five years, 2002

The main reason men gave for taking such a test was problems with urinating, age, and surgery or treatment of the prostate.

Anita Botterweck