The Pros and Cons of Health Screening Essay

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Health screening according to Durojaiye, (2009) is a systematic application of a test or inquiry, to identify individuals at sufficient risk of a specific health problem to warrant further investigation of direct preventive action, among persons who have not sough t medical attention on account of symptoms of that problem. According to this definition the main aim of screening program is to detect disease or risk factor, among the general population, in order to implement earlier preventive or therapeutic intervention because the highest benefit one can derive from a specific treatment is when the disease is less advanced (Rosemary Pope,1992). Screening is different to diagnosis. screening is performed on people without symptoms, it does …show more content…

Screening participants are also self-selected and therefore cannot be assumed to be identical to non-participants with respect to disease risk.

Despite the difficulty, researchers have reported the benefits of screening. The most recognized benefit of health screening according to Durojaiye, (2009) is it’s effectiveness 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, shows 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) . Evidence also suggests that a reduction in death rates of around 95% is possible in the long-term with cervical cancer screening. 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. Pope (1992), stats that screening is the second best option, but one which

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