When to Screen for Cancer

Brochures and Web sites can help people decide

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SUNDAY, Jan. 18, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Providing cancer screening information in public brochures and on Web sites may help people make appropriate decisions about whether they get the screening, says a report in the January issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The report, by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services, says there is an increasing need for this kind of publicly accessible information. That's because it can be difficult for doctors to effectively communicate the science of cancer screening to patients during office visits.

In addition, many people at high risk for cancer don't have regular health care and are forced to make health-care decisions on their own.

The report says brochures and Internet information may help people make informed decisions about whether and when to have cancer screening and what is the most appropriate form of screening for them.

"We know that making decisions about cancer screening can be difficult for individuals and their families. These findings from the Task Force provide important insight about how public health can communicate effectively about the risks, benefits and other outcomes associated with screening," Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says in a prepared statement.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about cancer screening and testing.

SOURCE: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, news release, December 2003

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