If the American Cancer Society and Otis Brawley had their way would american men go “Dutch”

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This is the number on thing on Twitter today if you search prostate cancer. I’ve read it but don’t quite get what I am supposed to glean from it. Dutch men are in the dark about the prostate? Here’s the thing and why the American Cancer Society’s stance on screening is potentially harmful: The problem here in the US and for the Dutch is awareness. If you divert the issue from awareness to all the talk about the harm of having a PSA done, then you miss the focused opportunity to strike at the primary issue. Men need to know that they can have prostate cancer without symptoms and they should have regular check-ups with their primary doctor. Once that is done, the primary doctor will handle the awareness part. So, why not recommend that men have yearly check-up with their family doctor? Enough about all the harm perpetrated on the lil ole male because some mean ole doctor did a PSA and subjected him to the “potential” of a biopsy, and the “potential” of having a low-grade prostate cancer, and the “potential” of being treated, and the “potential” of having a complication, and the “potential” of curing one of his prostate cancer. 

I read that Otis Brawley years ago stated he did not believe in the PSA and wasn’t going to get one done on himself. Well……..why worry about the Dutch…..they are doing what Dr. Brawley is doing….that is smart and informed …. right? 

Prostate Cancer Screening Urgently Needed Amongst Dutch Men 

18 Sep 2010 

A recent TNS NIPO survey, on behalf of the Dutch Association of Urology (NVU) and the European Association of Urology (EAU), showed that almost four out of 10 Dutch men of 50 years and older suffer, or have suffered, from urinary complaints. The same number of men also said in the same survey they are worried that they may have prostate cancer. 

The TNS NIPO survey also indicated that a significantly larger number of men that suffer, or have suffered, from urinary complaints expressed the concern of having prostate cancer as compared to men without urinary complaints. Hundreds of thousands of men suffer from prostate complaints, however, many of them often do not seek medical help because they see them as a normal part of growing older or because their complaints do not hamper them in daily life. 

Of note was the survey finding that practically all men who have participated in the Dutch study said that they would prefer to have an annual check or screening for prostate cancer. The widely used screening called the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test, however, is not known to the vast majority of survey participants. The conclusion is that reliable information is urgently needed. 

The study results were released during the annual official European prostate awareness day, part of the ongoing Urology Week activities. The Dutch and European associations for urologists (NVU and EAU) are collaborating to inform people about the prostate and the most common prostate-related diseases that affect many men. 

A public information campaign is being held in downtown Amsterdam. At the Dam square right on the central shopping district, a walk-through, giant model of a prostate is displayed to acquaint the general public of the prostate and its ailments. Urologists will be available to answer questions from the public. 

About prostate awareness day / Urology Week 

Urology Week is an initiative of the EAU. It is a public awareness week, held annually in September, to inform people, especially men over 50, about urological diseases, their treatments and the work of the urologist. September 15 is dedicated to inform the public about prostate conditions. Numerous activities are being organised all over Europe such as public information meetings and events. 

Prostate conditions have a negative impact on men’s quality of life. If a man’s prostate increases in size, part of his urethra may be compressed, which leads to urinary problems. Prostate conditions are often underestimated, ignored and wrongly perceived as part of the ageing process. Urologists and healthcare professionals, however, stress the importance of timely medical attention to various prostate conditions, their risks and treatments. 

About TNS NIPO survey: ‘Knowledge about the prostate’ 

The urological associations NVU and EAU have commissioned TNS NIPO to conduct a survey into the knowledge of Dutch men about the prostate and prostate conditions. This survey sheds light on the attitude, knowledge and behaviour of men 50 years of age and older regarding prostate complaints. The survey results are being published on the occasion of Prostate Day. 

TNS NIPO survey: ‘Knowledge about the prostate’ 

Method: CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interviewing) 

Target group: Men of 50 years and older 

Period: 11-18 August 2010 


Almost 4 out of ten men aged 50 years and older suffers, or has suffered, from urinary complaints. Men who have never suffered from urinary complaints practically all say that they would visit their GP if they did. However in fact not everybody does; only a little over twothirds of men who suffer – or have suffered – from urinary complaints visit their GP. Men who do not, indicate that urinary complaints are part of growing older and that their complaints do not hamper them in daily life. 

The majority of men of 50 years and older know where to locate the prostate on a visual. 

Almost two thirds of men of 50 years and older has never heard of the PSA value. The group of men who has heard of it think it is used to prevent or indicate (prostate) cancer or determine the condition of the prostate or prostate problems. 

According to men of 50 and older, prostate enlargement and prostate problems primarily cause urinary complaints. Most of the men know that the prostate enlarges when they are growing older. 

Some of the precautions men take to keep their prostate healthy are: urinating while sitting down and paying attention to their diet. Men who suffer, or have suffered, from urinary problems indicate more frequently that they take precautionary measures to keep their prostate healthy compared to men who have never suffered from urinary problems. 

Four out of 10 men regularly think about getting prostate cancer. This goes for more than half of the men who suffer, or have suffered, from prostate cancer. Almost all men of 50 years and older feel it is important have an annual prostate cancer check. 


Lindy Brouwer 

European Association of Urology


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