More men tested for prostate cancer

Nearly one in five men in the Netherlands aged 40 years or older has been tested at least once for prostate cancer in the last five years. In 2001 this was still only one in seven men.

Increase in all age groups

The percentage of men who do the PSA test varies from 5 for 40-50 year-old men to nearly 40 for men aged 70 years and older. In all age groups the percentage is higher than in 2001.

Percentage of men taking a  PSA test, by age, 2001/2005

Most PSA tests taken as a precaution

More than half of the tests are taken for preventive reasons, for example out of precaution (just over 30 percent), because of age (20 percent) and because prostate cancer occurs in the family (4 percent). Of the non-preventive reasons, problems with passing urine is the main reason for taking a PSA test.

Reason for the most recent PSA test, 2001/2005

More PSA tests for men with healthy lifestyle

Further analysis shows that lifestyle correlates to whether men take a PSA test. Relatively more men with a healthy lifestyle, for example, take a PSA test than men with risk factors such as obesity, insufficient physical exercise, heavy smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

Percentage of men taking a  PSA test in the last five years, by lifestyle, 2001/2005

Frans Frenken