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Why cancer screening is like eating crisps

Added: Wednesday 28 November 2012

Biostatics professor Dr Donald Berry likens cancer screening to putting your hand in a bag of crisps: you're more likely to pick a bigger crisp because it's easier for your hand to find. In the same way, screening is disproportionately likely to pick up slower-growing cancers because the preclinical period when they can be detected by screening is longer. The article from <cite>NCI Cancer Bulletin</cite> explains the statistics around screening, an area which is confusing even for medical professionals.