American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer, 2003


  • Dr. Robert A. Smith PhD,

    1. Smith is Director, Cancer Screening, Cancer Control Sciences Department, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA
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  • Dr. Vilma Cokkinides PhD, MSPH,

    1. Cokkinides is Program Director, Risk Factor Surveillance, Department of Epidemiology and Surveillance Research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA
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  • Dr. Harmon J. Eyre MD

    1. Eyre is Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President for Research and Cancer Control, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA, and Editor in Chief of CA
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Each January, the American Cancer Society (ACS) publishes a summary of existing recommendations for early cancer detection, including updates, and/or emerging issues that are relevant to screening for cancer. In 2002, the ACS assembled expert groups to update guidelines for cervical cancer screening and breast cancer screening, and to evaluate new technology for colorectal cancer screening. In November 2002, updated guidelines for cervical cancer screening were published in this journal, and breast cancer screening guidelines will be updated in 2003. In this issue, there is a report of a workshop held to review emerging technology for colorectal cancer screening that resulted in a modification of current previous recommendations for fecal occult blood tests, and revised recommendations for the “cancer-related check-up” in which clinical encounters provide case-finding and health-counseling opportunities. Finally, we provide an update of the most recent data pertaining to participation rates in cancer screening by age, gender, and ethnicity from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).