Advertisement

Public Knowledge of Benefits of Breast and Prostate Cancer Screening

  • Gerd Gigerenzer
  • Jutta Mata
  • Ronald Frank
Chapter

Abstract

Given the harms that can ensue from cancer screening procedures, people’s decisions as to whether to undergo cancer screening should be based on a realistic knowledge of its benefits. Face-to-face-interviews were conducted among a representative sample of men and women in nine European countries, who were asked to choose among estimates of the number of fewer cancer-specific deaths (per 1,000 individuals screened) by prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and mammography screening, respectively. Participants were also queried as to their sources of medical information. The study reported in this chapter found dramatic (by an order of magnitude or more) overestimation of the benefits (absolute cancer-specific mortality reduction) of mammography and PSA testing in the vast majority of women and men, respectively, in all countries surveyed. Frequent consultation of sources of medical information (including physicians) was not associated with more realistic knowledge of the benefits of screening. A basis for informed decisions by people about participation in screening for breast and prostate cancer is largely non-existent in Europe, suggesting inadequacies in the information made available to the public.

Keywords

Breast Cancer Prostate Cancer Cancer Screening Breast Cancer Screening Mammography Screening 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Andriole, G. L., Grubb, R. L., Buys, S. S., Chia, D., Church, T. R., Fouad, M. N., et al. (2009). Mortality results from a randomized prostate-cancer screening trial. The New England Journal of Medicine, 360, 1310–1319.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Binkowska, M., & Debski, R. (2005). Screening mammography in Polish female population aged 45 to 54. Ginekologia Polska, 76, 871–878.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Black, W. C., Nease, R. F., & Tosteson, A. N. A. (1995). Perceptions of breast-cancer risk and screening effectiveness in women younger than 50 years of age. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 87, 720–731.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Concato, J., Wells, C. K., Horwitz, R. I., Penson, D., Fincke, G., Berlowitz, D. R., et al. (2006). The effectiveness of screening for prostate cancer: A nested case-control study. Archives of Internal Medicine, 166, 38–43.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Domenighetti, G., D’Avanzo, B., Egger, M., Berrino, F., Perneger, T., Mosconi, P., et al. (2003). Women’s perception of the benefits of mammography screening: Population-based survey in four countries. International Journal of Epidemiology, 32, 816–821.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Elmore, G., Barton, M. B., Moceri, V. M., Polk, S., Arena, P. J., & Fletcher, S. W. (1998). Ten-year risk of false positive screening mammograms and clinical breast examinations. The New England Journal of Medicine, 338, 1089–1096.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. GfK-Nürnberg e.V., & Frank, R. (2007). Health in Europe. European consumer study 2007. Nuremberg: GFK.Google Scholar
  8. Gigerenzer, G., Gaissmaier, W., Kurz-Milcke, E., Schwartz, L. M., & Woloshin, S. (2007). Helping doctors and patients to make sense of health statistics. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 8, 53–96.Google Scholar
  9. Gøtzsche, P. C., & Nielsen, M. (2006). Screening for breast cancer with mammography. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 4, CD001877.Google Scholar
  10. Haggstrom, D. A., & Schapira, M. M. (2006). Black-white differences in risk perceptions of breast cancer survival and screening mammography benefit. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 21, 371–377.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Humphrey, L. L., Helfand, M., Chan, B. K. S., & Woolf, S. H. (2002). Breast cancer screening: A summary of the evidence for the US Preventive Services Task Force. Annals of Internal Medicine, 137, 347–360.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Miller, A. M., & Champion, V. L. (1997). Attitudes about breast cancer and mammography: Racial, income, and educational differences. Women and Health, 26, 41–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Nystrom, L., Andersson, I., Bjurstam, N., Frisell, J., Nordenskjold, B., & Rutqvist, L. E. (2002). Long-term effects of mammography screening: Updated overview of the Swedish randomised trials. Lancet, 359, 909–919.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Price, J. H., Desmond, S. H., Slenker, S., Smith, D. E., & Stewart, P. W. (1992). Urban black women’s perceptions of breast cancer and mammography. Journal of Community Health, 17, 191–204.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Rozhkova, N. I., & Kochetova, G. P. (2005). Analysis of equipment of the Russian X-ray Mammological Service in 2003 and 2004. Biomedical Engineering, 39, 242–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Särndal, C. E., Swensson, B., & Wretman, J. (1992). Model assisted survey sampling (2nd ed.). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Schroeder, F. H., Hugosson, J., Roobol, M. J., Tammela, T. L. J., Ciatto, S., Nelen, V., et al. (2009). Screening and prostate-cancer mortality in a randomized European study. The New England Journal of Medicine, 360, 1320–1328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Schwartz, L. M., Woloshin, S., Fowler, F. J., & Welch, H. G. (2004). Enthusiasm for cancer screening in the United States. Journal of the American Medical Association, 291, 71–78.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Steurer, J., Held, U., Schmidt, M., Gigerenzer, G., Tag, B., & Bachmann, L. M. (2009). Legal concerns trigger PSA testing. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 15, 390–392.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. (2002). Screening for prostate cancer: Recommendation and rationale. Annals of Internal Medicine, 137, 915–916.Google Scholar
  21. Welch, H. G. (2004). Should I be tested for cancer? Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  22. World Health Organisation (2008). World health statistics. http://www.who.int/whosis/whostat/2008/en/index.html.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harding Center for Risk Literacy, Center for Adaptive Behavior and CognitionMax Planck Institute for Human DevelopmentBerlinGermany
  2. 2.University of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  3. 3.Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung AssociationNurembergGermany

Personalised recommendations