Health: Confusion over cancer screening

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The Independent Online
Confusion over cancer screening

Cancer screening is causing anxiety among patients because of confusion about its effectiveness and its value, a charity said yesterday.

Reports of technical errors and inaccuracies in the interpretation of screening tests has caused shock and anger and led to an increased demand for information. Publishing two booklets, "Cancer Screening" for GPs" and "Understanding Cervical Smears" for women, Jean Mossman, chief executive of the cancer charity Bacup, said: "Screening has a key role to play in preventing cancer and in its early detection. Yet there is a great deal of public confusion."

She said the booklets would give health professionals the key facts and inform women of what to expect from a smear test and what the results would mean.

Available from Bacup, 3 Bath Place, Rivington Street, London EC2A 3JR.

Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor

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