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Eur J Cancer. 2003 Aug;39(12):1648-53.

Assessing the evidence for organised cancer screening programmes.

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Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, Canada.


The aim of this study was to review the evidence in the literature for organised cancer screening programmes. A Medline search for publications related to organised cancer screening programmes and their components was done. While there is a broad descriptive literature on various cancer screening programmes, there are few published studies that evaluate the impact of organised cancer screening. Most of the evidence to date is from Scandinavian cervical and breast cancer screening programmes. There is a moderate amount of literature that evaluates specific components of cancer screening programmes (such as quality control and recruitment). There is a substantial body of literature on organised cancer screening programmes. However, the studies tend to describe organised screening programmes rather than evaluate their effectiveness relative to opportunistic screening. Furthermore, most studies focus on individual components of organised screening programmes, rather than on the programmes as a whole. More research is needed that directly compares organised with opportunistic cancer screening.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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