Perceived causes of prostate cancer among prostate cancer survivors in the Netherlands

D.E.G. Kok, R.G.H.M. Cremers, K.K.H. Aben, I.M. van Oort, E. Kampman, L.A.L.M. Kiemeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction The aim of this study was to evaluate self-reported causes of prostate cancer among prostate cancer survivors in the Netherlands to obtain insight into the common beliefs and perceptions of risk factors for prostate cancer. Materials and methods A total of 956 prostate cancer survivors, who were identified from a population-based cancer registry and provided written informed consent, completed a questionnaire on sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle, medical history and family history of cancer. The final question: ‘You have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Do you have any idea what may have been the cause of your cancer?’ was evaluated for this study. Results Of the 956 prostate cancer survivors, 143 participants (15%) reported that they were aware of any factors that might have caused their prostate cancer. Participants reported factors related to heredity (37%), environmental factors (17%), nutrition or physical activity (13%) and stress (13%) as most likely causes. Interestingly, although a positive family history is established as a risk factor for prostate cancer, only 19% of the prostate cancer survivors with an affected first-degree relative reported this as possible cause. Conclusion Relatively few prostate cancer survivors were able to report possible causes of their prostate cancer. Furthermore, established risk factors for prostate cancer were not commonly perceived, not even among men with these risk factors. This finding might be taken into account, while developing future cancer education programs. Some causal factors reported by the participants may warrant further investigation, because current evidence for their role in prostate cancer aetiology is still missing or inconclusive.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Number of pages9
JournalOA Epidemiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Perceived causes of prostate cancer among prostate cancer survivors in the Netherlands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this