The strain of screening

As screening modalities emerge and grow more expensive (i.e. take the recent studies on screening MRIs for breast cancer in high-risk patients), can our health system handle the strain?

Consider the colorectal cancer screening. We all know that a colonoscopy is one option for colon cancer screening. However, there is no direct data that screening colonoscopies reduce mortality:

The USPSTF found good evidence that periodic fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) reduces mortality from colorectal cancer and fair evidence that sigmoidoscopy alone or in combination with FOBT reduces mortality. The USPSTF did not find direct evidence that screening colonoscopy is effective in reducing colorectal cancer mortality . . .

With the increased awareness, there is increased demand – so much so, it is taxing the system – resulting in Canada-like waits for tests.

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