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Screening for cancer 

Screening for cancer
Screening for cancer
Oxford Textbook of Geriatric Medicine (3 edn)

Anne Horgan

and Shabbir M. H. Alibhai


Cancer screening is the early identification of an asymptomatic malignancy. The aim of screening is to identify cancer at a stage where it can be more effectively treated and ideally with curative intent. Guidelines regarding screening in the older population differ widely across countries, in part due to the underrepresentation of older adults in the large screening trials on which the recommendations are based. In this chapter, we present the screening recommendations for colorectal, lung, breast, and prostate cancer from four international groups. The benefits of screening in the overall population are highlighted, and the data supporting screening in older adults outlined. Factors to be considered in screening decisions are discussed, including remaining life expectancy and patient and physician wishes. Potential methods to overcome these challenges along with supportive evidence are highlighted.

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