To illustrate these principles, we have included examples of screening from four different cancers (cervical, prostate, breast, and colorectal) among those most commonly consid ered for screening. In each case, there is the clear potential for benefits and harms. In each case, the benefits are not large in an absolute sense, whereas the harms are not inconsequential. Rational people may decide to have or not to have screening for these cancers based on the same understanding of the evidence. It is important for the public to come to a better understanding of the potential benefits and harms of cancer screening.
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