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Screening and Testing to Detect Cancer

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Screening and Testing to Detect Cancer

What Is Cancer Screening?

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Inside NCI: A Conversation with Dr. Barry Kramer about Cancer Screening.

Some types of cancer can be found before they cause symptoms. Checking for cancer (or for conditions that may lead to cancer) in people who have no symptoms is called screening. Screening can help doctors find and treat some types of cancer early. Generally, cancer treatment is more effective when the disease is found early. However, not all types of cancer have screening tests and some tests are only for people with specific genetic risks.

Overview of Cancer Screening and Testing

  • Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Cancer Screening
    (Type: (MP3) | Time 6:09 | Size: 7.3 MB)
    Read the Transcript
    Podcast from Nov. 27, 2012 Cancer Bulletin, Drs. Lisa Schwartz and Steven Woloshin of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice discuss the benefits and harms of cancer screening and highlight popular misconceptions about cancer screening statistics.

Types of Screening Tests

Screening for Specific Types of Cancer

For some types of cancer, research shows that using certain screening tests regularly will reduce deaths from that cancer.

For other types of cancer, screening methods are in use or being studied, but their ability to reduce the number of deaths from cancer has not been established.


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Conclusions from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial.