Redefining Screening Guidelines for Certain Cancers

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 40% of Americans will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime. It is also estimated that cancers that can be prevented or detected earlier by screening account for at least half of all new cancer cases. Estimates from 2009 indicate that about 192,370 women will be newly diagnosed with breast cancer, and another 40,170 will die from it. About 11,270 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed in women, and 4,070 women will die from it. New cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed in 106,100 men and women and 49,920 of these people are estimated to die from the disease. Building on Previous Recommendations Considering the magnitude of these cancers, researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center released comprehensive, risk-based screening guidelines for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers. Available at, the recommendations translate best practices in cancer prevention employed at the university into accessible guidelines for the public to follow. It identifies risk categories and provides information about when to begin and discontinue screening exams. “The guidelines reconstruct and expand upon previously published guidelines for screening,” says Therese B. Bevers, MD, FAAFP. “The guidelines were developed by multidisciplinary panels of MD Anderson disease site experts across several areas.” Those areas include medical oncology, surgical oncology, cancer prevention, and imaging as well as others. Adjusting for Individual Risk “Cancer screening is not a one-size-fits-all strategy,” says Dr. Bevers. “The new risk-based recommendations from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center are more personalized, precise, and detailed than what has previously been released by other...