Expert group advises separating risk and benefit information from cancer screening invitations

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 06 August 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5322
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

The public in England should be given more balanced information explaining the risks as well as the benefits of cancer screening, and this information should be separate from an invitation to be screened, an expert group has recommended in a consultation report.1

“Until now, the approach to information about the NHS cancer screening programmes has been, broadly, to encourage screening—while providing information on benefits and harms. But there is a growing imperative to provide comprehensive and balanced information on the benefits and harms of cancer screening, in order to facilitate an informed choice,” said Amanda Ramirez, national clinical lead for information for patients with cancer.

In 2011 the national cancer director, Mike Richards, announced that there would …

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