The pros and cons of screening
- Regular screening increases the chance of spotting cancer early.
- Cervical screening can detect abnormal cells before cancer has a chance to develop.
- “Studies show that by detecting these cancers at earlier stages, treatment results are improved and lives saved,” says Dr Rob Buckman, medical oncologist and author of Cancer is a Word, Not a Sentence.
- Breast or bowel screening does not in itself protect you from cancer, so it’s important to attend each time you’re invited.
- “All screening tests sometimes yield unclear results,” says Dr Buckman.
- Dr Buckman states: “Tests may sometimes be wrong, telling you there’s cancer when there isn’t, or vice versa. So with every screening, some people may be unduly alarmed or a few falsely reassured."
Cancer screening isn't 100% reliable, and there is a chance that cancer can be missed.
To find out more about cancer screening visit the NHS Choices website.