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Cancer screening in elderly people with limited life expectancy is common in US, study finds

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g5277 (Published 21 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5277
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Large numbers of elderly US people with limited life expectancy continue to be screened for cancer even though such tests are of little benefit and can pose substantial harms, a new study has concluded.1

In the study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine on 18 August, Trevor J Royce of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and colleagues looked at rates of screening for prostate, breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer in more than 27 000 people aged 65 years or older who participated in the National Health Interview Survey.

The face to face survey, which is conducted annually by the US National Center for Health Statistics, is designed to provide …

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