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Single Men Less Likely to Get Prostate Screens

This held true even for men with a family history of the disease, researchers say

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Married men and men living with a significant other are more prone to get early screening for prostate cancer, a new study says.

The study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, found that even men with a family history of prostate cancer were 40 percent less likely to be screened if they lived alone compared to those who were married or shared a home with a significant other. The study, however, did not examine why this is so.

"In terms of motivating people to get screened, there may be benefit in targeting wives or significant others as well as men," lead author Lauren P. Wallner, a graduate research associate at the University of Michigan, said in an American Association for Cancer Research news release.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among U.S. men in the United States; however, five-year survival rates greatly improve with early detection.

Almost 2,500 white Minnesota men, age 40 to 79, filled out questionnaires about prostate cancer history and concerns for the study. Those with a family history of the disease were 50 percent more likely to be screened than those without, while men who said they were worried about prostate cancer were nearly twice as likely to be tested.

Wallner said further studies should examine whether this effect is consistent in non-Caucasian populations.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about prostate cancer.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: American Association for Cancer Research, news release, Dec. 8, 2008

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