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A review of cancer screening evaluation techniques, with some particular examples in breast cancer screening

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The instigation of mass screening for breast cancer has, over the last three decades, raised various statistical issues and led to the development of new statistical approaches. Initially, the design of screening trials was the main focus of research but, as the evidence in favour of population-based screening programmes mounts, a variety of other applications have also been identified. These include administrative and quality control tasks, for monitoring routine screening services, as well as epidemiological modelling of incidence and mortality. We review the commonly used methods of cancer screening evaluation, highlight some current issues in breast screening and, using examples from randomized trials and established screening programmes, illustrate the role that statistical science has played in the development of clinical research in this field.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Epidemiology; Mammography; Screening

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Cancer Research UK Centre for Epidemiology, Mathematics and Statistics, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary, University of London, UK

Publication date: 2005-11-01

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