Screening (medicine)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Screening, in medicine, is a strategy used in a population to detect a disease in individuals without signs or symptoms of that disease. Unlike what generally happens in medicine, screening tests are performed on persons without any clinical sign of disease.

The intention of screening is to identify disease in a community early, thus enabling earlier intervention and management in the hope to reduce mortality and suffering from a disease. Although screening may lead to an earlier diagnosis, not all screening tests have been shown to benefit the person being screened; overdiagnosis, misdiagnosis, and creating a false sense of security are some potential adverse effects of screening. For these reasons, a test used in a screening program, especially for a disease with low incidence, must have good specificity in addition to acceptable sensitivity.

Several types of screening exist: universal screening involves screening of all individuals in a certain category (for example, all children of a certain age). Case finding involves screening a smaller group of people based on the presence of risk factors (for example, because a family member has been diagnosed with a hereditary disease).


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Screening (medicine)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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