Screening is applied to asymptomatic individuals who meet the eligibility requirements of the screen. The idea is to identify individuals whose disease is in an earlier stage so that it can be more effectively treated.
The purpose of population screening is to divide eligible subjects into two groups: those with a low risk of having cancer and those with a sufficiently high risk to warrant further diagnostic examination.
Screening tests are applied to populations of asymptomatic individuals and represent a public health strategy. The object, therefore, is to improve the health of the population and the value of cancer screening is measured by its affect on the population.
Where appropriate, British Columbia offers population-based screening programs to eligible men and women through BC Cancer. For more information, please visit the BC Cancer Screening website.