Cancer Screening - NY Times Article
Published: October 29, 2011
After decades in which cancer screening was promoted as an unmitigated good, as the best — perhaps only — way for people to protect themselves from the ravages of a frightening disease, a pronounced shift is under way.
Now expert groups are proposing less screening for prostate, breast andcervical cancer and have emphasized that screening comes with harms as well as benefits.
Two years ago, the influential United States Preventive Services Task Force, which evaluates evidence and publishes screening guidelines, said that women in their 40s do not appear to benefit from mammograms and that women ages 50 to 74 should consider having them every two years instead of every year.
This year the group said the widely used P.S.A. screening test for prostate cancer does not save lives and causes enormous harm. It also concluded that most women should have Pap tests for cervical cancer every three years instead of every year.