Concurrent participation in breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening in the Netherlands

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Background: Many European countries offer organised population-based breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening programmes. Around age 55 and 60, Dutch women are invited to all three screening programmes. We examined the extent to which participation concurs and identified factors influencing concurrent participation. Materials and methods: Individual level data from breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening invitations between 2017 and 2019 were extracted from the Dutch screening registry. The percentages of women participating in all three, two, one, or none of the programmes around age 55 and 60, and before subsequent round invitation were determined. Multivariate ordinal regression analyses were performed to estimate whether population density, socio-economic status (SES) per postal code area, and time between the three invitations (<3, 3–6, >6 months) were associated with concurrent participation. Results: Data from 332,484 women were analysed. At age 55, 53.7% participated in all three programmes, 22.1% in two, 11.7% in one, and 12.6% did not participate at all. At age 60, a similar participation pattern was observed. Women living in areas with higher population density were less likely (odds ratios 0.75–0.94) and women in higher SES groups were more likely (odds ratios 1.12–1.60) to participate in more screening programmes, although this positive association was smaller for the highest SES group. No substantial association was found between concurrent participation and timing of invitations. Conclusions: More than half of Dutch women participated in all three screening programmes and around 12% did not participate in any. Concurrent participation was lower in cities and lower SES groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-186
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Centre for Population Screening (CvB) of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment ( RIVM ). The CvB was not in any way involved in the study design, analysis, or interpretation of the data, nor in the writing of the report or in the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s)


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