Men are more likely to be screened for prostate cancer if they’re married or living with a significant other, a new study has found. The study appears in"Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention," a journal published by the American Association for Cancer Research.
The researchers sent questionnaires to 2,447 Caucasian men living in Olmsted County, Minnesota. The men were between 40 and 79 years old. They were asked about their family history of prostate cancer, their concern about getting prostate cancer, and their marital status.
Among the findings: Men with a family history of prostate cancer were 50 percent more likely to be screened. Men who were worried about getting prostate cancer were nearly twice as likely to be screened.
However, men with a family history of prostate cancer were less likely to undergo screening if they lived alone. The study found that men who lived alone were 40 percent less likely to be screened than men who reported being married or living with a significant other.
Left unanswered was the question of why married men were screened at higher rates; the study wasn’t designed to examine this.
It’s one of the first times researchers have tried to formally identify the factors that motivate men to be screened for this common cancer. The researchers said their findings suggest wives and significant others could be targeted as an effective strategy for getting men into the doctor’s office to be screened.