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Dr. Tsubokura's Radiation Lecture Vol.26

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo

51. Screening program is effective for limited types of cancer

In reality, cancer screenings have several downsides: some tests may have limited accuracy in cancer detection, detect non-life-threatening cancer, or cause complications from various interventions.

Considering these negative consequences of the cancer screenings, it is recommended when early diagnosis and treatment is assumed to decrease mortality related to cancer. In other words, only limited types of cancer would benefit from population-level cancer screening programs.

Today, cancer screening programs with widely-accepted efficacy are those for colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, breast cancer, and stomach cancer (in only a few countries, including Japan). It should be noted that cancer screenings are not always advisable for all human organs.