Intended for healthcare professionals


Screening stories

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 27 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:882
  1. Luisa Dillner
  1. BMJ

    Jack Cuzick's colleagues were surprised last weekend to see a story in the Sunday Times with the headline “Cancer expert attacks ‘waste’ of smear tests.” The story claimed that Cuzick, head of statistics at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, was expected to warn a BMA conference on screening in London that “the NHS is spending as much as £30m a year on unnecessary tests.” No one, however, was more surprised at the story than Cuzick. He had not spoken to Lois Rogers, the medical correspondent of the Sunday Times. “I was very surprised that she was discussing what I was going to say at the conference when I haven't even decided yet,” said Cuzick. Rogers had asked Cuzick's secretary to get hold of him, but he had not returned her call.

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    Cuzick published a paper in 1995 in the Lancet suggesting that testing for human papillomavirus (HPV) is more sensitive than the current screening programme in detecting …

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