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When is it time to stop cancer screening in older people?

Alan Cassels

In the U.S. there are frequent appeals for people to submit to regular cancer screening—whether it’s for colon, cervical, prostate, lung or breast cancer screening—but when is it too much of a good thing? When should older people, perhaps those with limited life expectancy, stop getting periodic screening?

At study published in JAMA Medicine in 2014 found that “large numbers of elderly U.S. people with limited life expectancy continue to be screened for cancer even though such tests are of little benefit and can pose substantial harms.”

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