Dr Kevin Hill’s column ‘Cervical cancer: Why screening is so vital’ makes an implausible statement.
‘Cervical screening is the most effective way of preventing cervical cancer,’ he states. This is illogical.
Screening is a detection process – it cannot prevent anything.
The best it can do is catch cervical cancer early and improve the chances of successful treatment.
The column would have been clearer if the number of women screened and the number diagnosed with cervical cancer had been provided, particularly if the numbers were significant.
The cost of screening and the benefit of screening must also be assessed.
The NHS has finite resources and, if the cost of screening 100,000 women is X and the number of women diagnosed with cervical cancer is 100, should we continue to screen?
I have no idea of the cost, nor of the number of women diagnosed, but I would have thought this should be an important factor in working out the benefit of screening.