Cancer Screening Guidelines
Since 1980, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has introduced and periodically updated guidelines or guidance related to screening and/or informed decision-making about tests for early detection of cancers (and, in some cases, precursor lesions) of the breast, cervix, colon and rectum, endometrium, lung, and prostate. The ACS develops guidelines for cancer screening to meet the needs of clinicians, the general public, and policy. These guidelines address the populations for whom testing is recommended or not recommended, the recommended tests and testing intervals, and the benefits, limitations, and harms associated with testing for early cancer detection. In 2011, ACS revised its process for creating cancer screening guidelines to be more consistent with the new Institute of Medicine (IOM) standards for trustworthy clinical guideline development by creating a single Guideline Development Group for writing the guidelines, using independent systematic review of evidence, and requiring clear articulation of the benefits, limitations, and harms associated with each screening test included in the guideline. ACS recognizes its role as an important source of guidance about cancer screening for both health care practitioners and the general public. Therefore the updated methodology aligns with the IOM principles and represents a more transparent, consistent, and rigorous process for developing and communicating guidelines. This new methodology is currently being used to update the cancer screening guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer. If you want to know more, contact us at ACS.Guidelines@cancer.org.
See our Cancer Screening Guidelines and Overview Processes for information on how ACS develops its recommendations for cancer screening.