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Open AccessCommentary

Regarding the Yin and Yang of Precision Cancer- Screening and Treatment: Are We Creating a Neglected Majority?

1
Behavioral Science and Health Education Department, Rollins School of Public Health Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
2
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, NY 10022, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4168; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214168
Received: 19 September 2019 / Revised: 22 October 2019 / Accepted: 24 October 2019 / Published: 29 October 2019
In this commentary, we submit that the current emphasis of precision cancer screening and treatment (PCST) has been to provide and interpret the implications of “positive” screening results for those deemed to be at greatest risk for cancer or most likely to benefit from targeted treatments. This is an important, but proportionately small target group, regardless of the cancer context. Overlooked by this focus is the larger majority of those screened who receive “negative” results. We contend that for optimal dissemination of PCST, the complement of positive and negative results be viewed as an inseparable yin–yang duality with the needs of those who receive negative screening results viewed as important as those deemed to be at highest risk or derive targeted treatment benefit. We describe three areas where communication of negative PCST results warrant particular attention and research consideration: population-based family history screening, germline testing for hereditary cancer syndromes, and tumor testing for targeted cancer treatment decision-making. Without thoughtful consideration of the potential for negative results to have psychological and behavioral influences, there is a potential to create a “neglected majority”. This majority may be inclined to misinterpret results, disseminate inaccurate information to family, dismiss the credibility of results, or become disillusioned with existing medical treatments. View Full-Text
Keywords: precision cancer screening and treatment; negative results; health communication; population-based family history screening; germline testing for hereditary cancer syndromes; tumor testing for targeted cancer therapies precision cancer screening and treatment; negative results; health communication; population-based family history screening; germline testing for hereditary cancer syndromes; tumor testing for targeted cancer therapies
MDPI and ACS Style

McBride, C.M.; Guan, Y.; Hay, J.L. Regarding the Yin and Yang of Precision Cancer- Screening and Treatment: Are We Creating a Neglected Majority? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4168. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214168

AMA Style

McBride CM, Guan Y, Hay JL. Regarding the Yin and Yang of Precision Cancer- Screening and Treatment: Are We Creating a Neglected Majority? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(21):4168. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214168

Chicago/Turabian Style

McBride, Colleen M.; Guan, Yue; Hay, Jennifer L. 2019. "Regarding the Yin and Yang of Precision Cancer- Screening and Treatment: Are We Creating a Neglected Majority?" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 16, no. 21: 4168. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214168

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