Debates about Cervical Screening: An Historical Overview

Show simple item record Bryder, Linda en 2012-03-04T22:08:48Z en 2008 en
dc.identifier.citation J EPIDEMIOL COMMUN H 62(4):284-287 Apr 2008 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract Population-based cervical screening has been promoted widely and enthusiastically as a preventive measure for cervical cancer since the development of the Papanicolaou smear test in the 1940s. In 1984 the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Coordinating Committee on Cervical Screening1 confidently announced ‘‘With the exception of stopping the population from smoking, cervical cytological screening offers the only major proved public health measure for significantly reducing the burden of cancer today.’’ Throughout its history, however, the ‘Pap’ smear has been subject to intense criticism. Critics have wondered whether many lesions or dysplasias identified by smears and treated would have developed into cancer if left alone. From the 1960s, in the light of the growing importance attached to the sciences of biostatistics and epidemiology, others questioned whether screening programmes had reduced the incidence of cervical cancer. Feminists from the 1980s critiqued the interventionist medical model, arguing that the costs to individual women outweighed the public health benefits. Archie Cochrane, Professor of Epidemiology and the doyen of evidence-based medicine, claimed that the subject of cervical screening in Great Britain was highly emotional, and ‘‘never has there been less appeal to evidence and more to opinion’’.2 3 This article revisits the debates, focusing in particular on the critiques that have existed as long as the screening programmes themselves. en
dc.publisher BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. en
dc.relation.ispartofseries Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Details obatined from en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Debates about Cervical Screening: An Historical Overview en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1136/jech.2006.059246 en
pubs.begin-page 284 en
pubs.volume 62 en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. en
dc.identifier.pmid 18339818 en en
pubs.end-page 287 en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.subtype Article en
pubs.elements-id 78315 en Arts en Humanities en History en
dc.identifier.eissn 1470-2738 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2010-09-01 en
pubs.dimensions-id 18339818 en

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