Advancing Progress in the Development and Implementation of Effective, High-Quality Cancer Screening: Proceedings of a Workshop

Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2021 Feb 2.


New technologies and improved understanding of the genesis and progression of various cancers have added to the enthusiasm for potential new strategies to improve screening and early detection of cancer. Research is also under way to evaluate refinements in current screening approaches, including determining optimal screening intervals, the ages at which screening should begin and end, as well as more specific estimates of the potential risks and benefits of screening for certain populations, such as racial and ethnic minority populations and people who have elevated risk for specific cancers. However, there remain significant challenges to developing, validating, and effectively implementing new cancer screening approaches. Guidelines for screening issued by different organizations vary considerably with no clear way of deciding which guidelines are most trustworthy. There is also a need to improve access to high-quality cancer screening and follow-up care, particularly in low-resource communities and among populations who are underserved or have numerous barriers to receiving care.

To examine the challenges and opportunities related to improving current approaches to cancer screening, as well as the evidence base for novel cancer screening methods, the National Cancer Policy Forum held a workshop, Advancing Progress in the Development and Implementation of Effective, High-Quality Cancer Screening, on March 2-3, 2020, in Washington, DC. This workshop convened a broad range of experts, including clinicians, researchers, statisticians, and patient advocates, as well as representatives of health care organizations, academic medical centers, insurers, and federal agencies. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions of the workshop and highlights suggestions from individual participants regarding how to improve cancer screening.

Publication types

  • Review

Grant support

This activity was supported by Contract No. 200-2011-38807 (Task Order No. 75D30119F00080) and Contract No. HHSN263201800029I (Task Order No. HHSN26300008) with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health, respectively, and by the American Association for Cancer Research, American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Association of American Cancer Institutes, Association of Community Cancer Centers, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cancer Support Community, CEO Roundtable on Cancer, Flatiron Health, Merck, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, National Patient Advocate Foundation, Novartis Oncology, Oncology Nursing Society, Pfizer Inc., Sanofi, and Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.