Essay about The Pros and Cons of Health Screening

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The Benefits and Disbenefits of Health Screening and the Contribution of Psychology in Health Screening.

Health screening, according to Durojaiye, (2009), is a systematic application of a test or inquiry to identify individuals at risk of a specific health problem. This enables further investigation or direct preventive action, among individuals who have not sought medical attention on account of their symptoms of that problem. The main aim of screening program therefore is to detect disease or risk factors among the general population, in order to carry out preventive, or therapeutic intervention because the highest benefit one can derive from a specific treatment is when the disease is less advanced (Wardle & Pope, 1992).
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Despite these difficulties, researchers have reported the benefits of health screening. The most recognised benefit according to Durojaiye (2009) is that it is effective in reducing morbidity and mortality from disease by detecting it before symptoms occur. A report in 2006 by the Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer Screening showed that screening saves 1,400 lives a year in England. In Australia, the age-standardized breast cancer mortality rate in women of all ages declined significantly from 28 per 100,000 women in 1996 to 24 per 100,000 in 2005. Mortality from breast cancer among women aged 50-69 was reported to have declined from 62 deaths per 100,000 in 1996 to 52 deaths per 100,000 in 2005 (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2008) . The screening of pregnant women to identify and intervene early with risks to their health and that of their babies are associated with improved health status among high-risk populations (Durojaiye, 2009). The idea of screening therefore is to prevent, not to cure. Wardle & Pope (1992) state that screening is the second best prevention option, but one which provides the best chance of saving lives in our present state of knowledge. It may also provide welcome reassurance especially to many women that they do not have cancer. If the screening consultations are used wisely, an

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