Background: Prostate Cancer (PC) is the most common type of cancer among Danish men, and the incidence is increasing. PC is often asymptomatic, making it difficult to establish a clinical diagnosis. The general practitioner can use prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing as a tool for diagnosing PC. Objective: Our objective was to study the use and results of PSA testing in general practice in the former Aarhus County during the period 1995-2006. Methods: We extracted data from the laboratory database, LABKA, and The National Patient Registry (NPR) during the period 1995 - 2006. From LABKA, 86,077 samples were collected from 39,019 men resident in the former Aarhus County. The physician who ordered the test was identified as either a general practitioner or a medical specialist. Nationwide, 148,210 records of ambulatory treatment or hospital admission were collected from The NPR. Data were merged using the patient's civil registration number, a unique identifier assigned to all Danish residents. Results: The test frequency increased 43 times during this period, and the proportion of tests requested by general practice increased from 38.6 % (36.4-40.8 %) in 1998 to 66.1 % (65.4-66.8 %) in 2006. The number of incident tests requested by a medical specialist decreased from 2001. The proportion of incident tests requested by general practice and with results below 4 mmol/L increased by almost 300 % during this period. Conclusion: General practice requests more and more PSA tests. This can be explained by: 1) watchful waiting 2) more check-ups after treatment for PC 3) opportunistic screening.
Prostata specifikt antigen; Prostata cancer
Main Research Area:
International Primary Care and Cancer Conference, 2009