Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Suzanne M. Miller & Kerry A. Sherman
Cancer is evident in virtually every country of the world, with developed countries having a greater incidence of disease than nondeveloped countries. The American Cancer Society reports that in the United States alone, cancer accounts for one in four deaths every year, with mortality rates being disproportionately high among ethnic minority populations. The aim of screening is to detect the presence of disease in asymptomatic individuals, thus managing the disease at a more treatable stage. Cancer mortality rates in this country have been considerably reduced with the advent of effective early detection screening regimens, notably mammography for women 50 years and older (breast cancer), Pap smears (cervical cancer), and fecal occult blood testing (FOBT; colorectal cancer). These types of established screening guidelines have frequently been implemented after extensive debate regarding whether screening would prolong life among specific populations (e.g., mammography in women under 50 years of age). Currently, the utility ...