American Cancer Society Shifting its Message on Screening for Breast and Prostate Cancer


Screening is an important tool of secondary prevention of disease in public health. Of course screening tools are not perfect. The American Cancer Society (ACS), a long defender of cancer screening, is now working on a message to emphasize that breast and prostate cancer screenings can come with a real risk of overtreating many small cancers while missing cancers that are deadly. My concern is how we are going to communicate this to the public in a way that doesn’t deter people from getting screened. The ACS hasn’t even come up with its message to the public and they’re already getting media coverage. This is a real opportunity for a public health campaign to educate the public about cancer screenings.

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