American Cancer Society guidelines for the early detection of cancer

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Abstract

This issue of CA inaugurates a yearly report on American Cancer Society guidelines for early detection of cancer in asymptomatic individuals.

The current recommendations, which reflect almost 20 years of updates, cover screening recommendations for breast, colorectal, prostate, and cervical cancers, as well as for other cancers, depending on patient age, history, environmental and/or occupational exposures, etc.

A key concept for both the general public and health providers is the distinction between public health recommendations regarding screening and decisions about early detection tests that might be undertaken on an individual basis.

Although it is likely that current screening protocols will be supplanted by newer technologies, such as genetic and molecular markers of risk and disease, greater utilization of the technologies at hand will improve efforts toward establishing an organized and systematic approach to early cancer detection.

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