Individualized Approach to Cancer Screening in Older Adults

Kimberley T. Lee, Russell P. Harris, Nancy L. Schoenborn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The primary goal of cancer screening is early detection of cancer to reduce cancer-specific mortality and morbidity. The benefits of screening in older adults are uncertain due to paucity of evidence. Extrapolating data from younger populations, evidence suggests that the benefit occurs years later from the time of initial screening and therefore may not be applicable in those older adults with limited life expectancy. Contrast this with the harms of screening, which are more immediate and increase with age and comorbidities. An individualized approach to cancer screening takes these factors into consideration, allowing for thoughtful decision making for older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-23
Number of pages13
JournalClinics in geriatric medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Cancer screening
  • Harms and benefits
  • Life expectancy
  • Older adults
  • Personalized medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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