A value framework for cancer screening: advice for high-value care from the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 2015 May 19;162(10):712-7. doi: 10.7326/M14-2327.


Experts, professional societies, and consumer groups often recommend different strategies for cancer screening. These strategies vary in the intensity of their search for asymptomatic lesions and in their value. This article outlines a framework for thinking about the value of varying intensities of cancer screening. The authors conclude that increasing intensity beyond an optimal level leads to low-value screening and speculate about pressures that encourage overly intensive, low-value screening.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asymptomatic Diseases
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Early Detection of Cancer* / adverse effects
  • Early Detection of Cancer* / economics
  • Early Detection of Cancer* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening* / adverse effects
  • Mass Screening* / economics
  • Mass Screening* / statistics & numerical data
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Risk Assessment*