Cancer Screening and Early Detection in the 21st Century

Semin Oncol Nurs. 2017 May;33(2):121-128. doi: 10.1016/j.soncn.2017.02.002. Epub 2017 Mar 23.


Objective: To review the trends in and principles of cancer screening and early detection.

Data sources: Journal articles, United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) publications, professional organization position statements, and evidence-based summaries.

Conclusion: Cancer screening has contributed to decreasing the morbidity and mortality of cancer. Efforts to improve the selection of candidates for cancer screening, to understand the biological basis of carcinogenesis, and the development of new technologies for cancer screening will allow for improvements in cancer screening over time.

Implications for nursing practice: Nurses are well-positioned to lead the implementation of cancer screening recommendations in the 21st century through their practice, research, educational efforts, and advocacy.

Keywords: cancer screening; decision-making; early detection; screening recommendations; sensitivity; specificity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Early Detection of Cancer / nursing*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / trends*
  • Evidence-Based Nursing / trends*
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / nursing*
  • Mass Screening / trends*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / nursing*
  • Nurse's Role
  • United States