The core function of the Screening Group (SCR) at IARC is to provide data on the accuracy, reproducibility, efficacy, benefits, harmful effects, and cost-effectiveness of various early detection interventions for breast, cervical, colorectal, and oral cancers, among others, in reducing deaths and improving patients’ quality of life in various settings. These data can then be used to inform and improve the rational use of health-care resources. The Group’s ultimate objective is to guide the development of public health policies for implementing screening in a variety of health-care settings, in particular in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

SCR conducts field studies in LMICs to evaluate various early detection methods for breast, cervical, colorectal, and oral cancer control. These initiatives also address the means by which screening services could be scaled up through local public health services. SCR develops various training resources to catalyse and augment capacity building in close collaboration with national institutions and government health services. Through its research programme, SCR generates scientific evidence to support the development of resource-appropriate early detection policies and health systems for the delivery of effective early services. The Cancer Screening in 5 Continents (CanScreen5) project of the Group aims to collect information on characteristics and performance of cancer screening programmes around the world and disseminate such information for informed decision making in cancer screening programmes. For example, the Group significantly contributed also to the evaluation of the safety and efficacy of less than three doses of the HPV vaccine in protecting against cervical cancer.

Visitors and news

EMERGENCY: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

Regular updates on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak are available at the WHO website.

Launch of online learning programme on “Improving the Quality of Cancer Screening”

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new freely accessible and modular resource on cancer screening and early diagnosis. This self-paced online learning programme was developed in the framework of the Cancer Screening in Five Continents (CanScreen5) project. This course was developed with the support of the American Cancer Society, the Medical Research Council (United Kingdom), the Research Council of Norway, and the Centre for Global Health Inequalities Research (CHAIN) of Norway. This open access learning programme covers evidence-based knowledge and skills on “Improving the Quality of Cancer Screening” through a variety of educational resources through 3 modules: principles of cancer screening, planning and implementing a cancer screening programme, and quality of cancer screening programmes.
View the IARC news and join the learning programme

Virtual meeting: Europe’s path to eliminating cervical cancer on 5 February at 14:00 CET time

Cervical cancer is a significant health problem in Europe. WHO Member States have collectively resolved to end needless suffering from a cancer that is preventable, curable and could be eliminated within a generation by adopting the global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem in November 2020. The objective of this webinar organized by the Associations of the European Cancer Leagues in collaboration with UICC, MEP, European Commission DG Santé and IARC is to inform a wide audience of health stakeholders about the global strategy and discuss Europe’s role in taking global commitments forward and signalling the importance of cervical health to European Member States, Associated countries and beyond. View the agenda and join the meeting

New publication: Cross-sectional survey of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer screening programmes in selected low- and middle-income countries: study from the IARC COVID-19 impact study group

In this new article, published in the International Journal of Cancer, the IARC COVID-19 impact study group including scientists from IARC and representatives from 17 countries in charge of cancer screening programmes, conducted a study to assess the impact of the pandemic on cancer screening programmes in LMICs that have made significant efforts in the past few years to improve the organization of their screening programmes. Based on our best knowledge, our study is the first reporting on the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on cancer screening care continuum for a set of low- and middle-income countries spread across different continents and Human development index categories. The status of the cancer testing, diagnostic and treatment services, and challenges and the best practices adopted to face the crisis are described. Sharing such information will help LMICs to improve resilience of screening services. View the article

New commentary: Eliminating cervical cancer in the COVID-19 era

The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, poses a clear and present danger to the health and well-being of populations. A new comment, published in Nature Cancer by Dr Ophira Ginsburg, Dr Partha Basu, Dr Sharon Kapambwe and Dr Karen Canfell, discuss its indirect impact on global cancer prevention and control efforts, particularly for cervical cancer. Authors suggest some comparisons between the COVID-19 pandemic and the human papillomavirus–induced cancer burden, as well as opportunities for translating pandemic-control strategies into effective cancer control. View the commentary

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Scientific papers

Villain P., Carvalho A.L., Lucas E., Mosquera I., Zhang L., Muwonge R., Selmouni F., Sauvaget C., Basu P., IARC COVID-19 impact study group. Cross-sectional survey of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer screening programmes in selected low- and middle-income countries: study from the IARC COVID-19 impact study group. Int J Cancer. 2021 Feb 3.
PMID: 33533501
Basu P., Tripathi R., Mehrotra R., Ray K., Srivastava A., Srivastava A. Role of integrative medicine in the continuum of care of breast cancer patients in the Indian context. Cancer Causes Control. 2021 Feb 2.
PMID: 33528692
Cheung L.C., Ramadas K., Muwonge R., Katki H.A., Thomas G., Graubard B.I., Basu P., Sankaranarayanan R., Somanathan T., Chaturvedi A.K. Risk-Based Selection of Individuals for Oral Cancer Screening. J Clin Oncol. 2021 Jan 15:JCO2002855.
PMID: 33449824

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