Well-organised cervical screening programmes have reduced the mortality from cervical cancer by up to 50% in the developed world. Despite the successful development of human papilloma virus vaccines there is likely to remain a need for cervical screening for the foreseeable future. In contrast, the value of mass screening for ovarian cancer remains unproven, although current screening methods can detect early stage disease in asymptomatic individuals. Breast screening does appear to be associated with a reduction in mortality in women aged 50–69 years but disagreement remains about its value in younger and older women. Testing for sexually transmitted infections is effective in reducing morbidity but tends to be selective at present because of concerns over the cost and psychosocial implications of general population screening.
Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine Vol. 19, Issue 11, p. 301-307