Education And Debate

Cancer: science and society and the communication of risk

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 28 September 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:799
  1. Kenneth C Calman, chief medical officera
  1. a Department of Health, London SW1A 2NS Sir
  • Accepted 13 September 1996


Summary points

  • Epidemiological techniques, and the data generated from cancer registration, are powerful in identifying correlations between diseases and clinical outcomes. They do, however, have limitations in setting public policy

  • In understanding issues surrounding risk assessment, perception is a key aspect of understanding patient and public choice. Information sharing is critical

  • A proposal for clarifying the language of risk has been put forward for discussion and debate


    • Accepted 13 September 1996
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