, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 228-236
Date: 06 May 2009

Screening practice and misplaced priorities

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To estimate cancer screening coverage among a large sample of Greek individuals.


7012 adults from 30 Hellenic areas were surveyed. Tests included: faecal occult blood test, sigmoidoscopy, chest X-ray, urine test, testicular examination, trans-rectal ultrasound, full blood count, skin examination, digital rectal examination, PSA, Pap test, mammography, clinical breast examination (CBE), self breast examination and breast ultrasound.


Eighty-eight percent of males and 93% of females declared being interested in cancer screening; 37.8% of men and 37.9% of women had had a medical consultation for screening purpose in the previous 2 years. Less than 2% reported having received screening for colorectal cancer or skin malignancies. Screening for cervical cancer, mammography and CBE was reported by 39.6%, 22.8% and 27.9% of females respectively. Twenty percent of males reported screening for prostate cancer.


The actual opportunistic screening approach presents important deficiencies with displaced priorities in test performance and a low proportion of individuals undergoing recommended tests.