Most major medical organizations recommend routine screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers. Screening can lead to early detection of these cancers, resulting in reduced mortality. Yet not all people who should be screened are screened, either regularly or, in some cases, ever. This report presents the results of systematic reviews of effectiveness, applicability, economic efficiency, barriers to implementation, and other harms or benefits of interventions designed to increase screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers by increasing community demand for these services. Evidence from these reviews indicates that screening for breast cancer (mammography) and cervical cancer (Pap test) has been effectively increased by use of client reminders, small media, and one-on-one education. Screening for colorectal cancer by fecal occult blood test has been increased effectively by use of client reminders and small media. Additional research is needed to determine whether client incentives, group education, and mass media are effective in increasing use of any of the three screening tests; whether one-on-one education increases screening for colorectal cancer; and whether any demand-enhancing interventions are effective in increasing the use of other colorectal cancer screening procedures (i.e., flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, double contrast barium enema). Specific areas for further research are also suggested in this report.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health