Applications: Evaluation of Screening Programs
This chapter begins with a presentation of the basic principles for early disease detection, such as the disease should be of serious consequence and should have an accepted treatment. It then reviews various approaches to the evaluation of screening programs. These approaches range from descriptive comparisons between populations exposed to screening to randomized population based trials. The advantages of the case-control method for the evaluation of screening programs are presented, such as efficient use of resources and simultaneous evaluation of more than one technique of screening. The final part of the chapter discusses specific problems in the use of the case-control method in evaluating screening programs. It presents two classical case-control studies of evaluation of screening programs for colon cancer and breast cancer.
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