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Report calls for public education on screening to ensure more realistic expectations

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b4533 (Published 03 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4533
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

    The public needs to be better informed about the purpose, benefits, and potential harms of screening programmes to overcome unrealistic expectations about what they can achieve, warns a report from UK clinicians and scientists.

    The report, Making Sense of Screening, was developed in response to recent media coverage of celebrities who developed cancer, which has made screening a particularly emotive matter.

    The treatment of the pop singer Kylie Minogue for breast cancer and the death from cervical cancer at the age of 27 of reality television star Jade Goody led to demands, and promises from politicians, that more people be included in screening programmes and that screening be offered more often, starting at a younger age and continuing for longer.

    The authors of the report from Sense About Science, a …

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