The public health basis of cancer screening: principles and ethical aspects

  • Anthony B. Miller
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 86)


Cancer is a dread disease. It ably fulfills, at least in the mind of the public and of many physicians, two of the requirements for screening, namely, that the disease should be an important public health problem and that the consequences of untreatable cancer are dire [1]. However, we do not have a screening test for cancer; rather, we have a series of screening tests for different cancer sites. These tests use different approaches, possess varying sensitivity and specificity, and have produced varying evidence of efficacy and effectiveness. Thus screening for each cancer site has to be justified on its own merits and must therefore be evaluated using rigorous approaches, especially randomized controlled trials [2].


Cancer Screening Cervical Cancer Screening Cancer Site Breast Screening Breast Cancer Detection 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

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  • Anthony B. Miller

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