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Cancer Trends Progress Report – 2011/2012 Update

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In the Report
Summary Tables
Early Detection
Breast Cancer Screening
Cervical Cancer Screening
Colorectal Cancer Screening
Life After Cancer
End of Life

Early Detection

The use of screening tests to detect cancers early provides better opportunities for patients to obtain more effective treatment with fewer side effects. Patients whose cancers are found early and treated in a timely manner are more likely to survive these cancers than are those whose cancers are not found until symptoms appear. This section describes trends in the use of the following screening tests, each of which has been found to detect cancers accurately for specified age groups; evidence suggests that they decrease the chances of dying from cancer:

Trends for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) to detect prostate cancer are not included in this edition of the Cancer Trends Progress Report. Use of the PSA test has not yet been shown to reduce deaths from prostate cancer. There is also concern about possible harm caused by unnecessary treatments, because the test can find very early cancers that might not cause any harm if left untreated—especially in older men. Other screening methods, such as new imaging techniques to detect breast or lung cancer and ways to detect early cancer in the blood, also require more research on their effectiveness.

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