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High-Value Care Advice Provided for Cancer Screening

Review of guidelines and evidence provides advice for screening for five common types of cancer

WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) — High-value care advice has been provided for screening for five common types of cancer. The guidelines were published in the May 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Timothy J. Wilt, M.D., M.P.H., and colleagues from the High-Value Care Task Force of the American College of Physicians (ACP) reviewed screening strategies for asymptomatic, average-risk adults for five common types of cancer. The information was supplemented by findings from randomized controlled trials, modeling studies, and studies of costs or resource use.

According to the report, for breast cancer, all groups recommend mammography screening or discussions about screening for average-risk women aged 40 to 75 years at least every two years. For cervical cancer, all organizations recommend starting screening with cytology every three years at age 21 years, until age 65 years. For colorectal cancer, all organizations recommend screening with one of four strategies for persons aged 50 to 75 years. All organizations recommend against pelvic examination, cancer antigen 125 blood tests, and transvaginal ultrasonography for ovarian cancer screening. No organization recommends prostate-specific antigen testing unless benefits and harms are discussed and a patient expresses a clear preference for screening.

“The ACP strongly encourages clinicians to adopt a cancer screening strategy that focuses on reaching all eligible persons with these high-value screening options while reducing overly intensive, low-value screening,” the authors write.

Clinical Guideline
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