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Lancet Oncol. 2018 Feb;19(2):e113-e122. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(18)30003-2.

Population-based cancer screening programmes in low-income and middle-income countries: regional consultation of the International Cancer Screening Network in India.

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Public Health Research Branch, Center for Global Health, US National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD, USA. Electronic address:
Regional Cancer Centre, Kunjaban, Agartala, Tripura, India.
Public Health Research Branch, Center for Global Health, US National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD, USA.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Bangabandhu Sheikh, Mujib Medical University, Shahbag, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Department for Health Evidence, Radboudumc, and Dutch Expert Centre for Screening, Nijmegen, Netherlands.
Center of Epidemiology and Screening, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Center for Epidemiology and Prevention in Oncology, CPO Piemonte, WHO Collaborative Center for Cancer Early Diagnosis and Screening, University Hospital Città della Salute e della Scienza, Turin, Italy.
Screening Group, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France; RTI International-India, New Delhi, India.
Office of Global Affairs, US Department of Health and Human Services, US Embassy, New Delhi, India.
Rotary Cancer Center, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi, India.
National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research, and WHO-Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Smokeless Tobacco Global Knowledge Hub, National Capital Region, India.


The reductions in cancer morbidity and mortality afforded by population-based cancer screening programmes have led many low-income and middle-income countries to consider the implementation of national screening programmes in the public sector. Screening at the population level, when planned and organised, can greatly benefit the population, whilst disorganised screening can increase costs and reduce benefits. The International Cancer Screening Network (ICSN) was created to share lessons, experience, and evidence regarding cancer screening in countries with organised screening programmes. Organised screening programmes provide screening to an identifiable target population and use multidisciplinary delivery teams, coordinated clinical oversight committees, and regular review by a multidisciplinary evaluation board to maximise benefit to the target population. In this Series paper, we report outcomes of the first regional consultation of the ICSN held in Agartala, India (Sept 5-7, 2016), which included discussions from cancer screening programmes from Denmark, the Netherlands, USA, and Bangladesh. We outline six essential elements of population-based cancer screening programmes, and share recommendations from the meeting that policy makers might want to consider before implementation.

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