First report of screening an asymptomatic population for cancer: The yield of an integrated cancer prevention center

Ben Boursi, Hanan Guzner-Gur, Yaquv Mashich, Udi Miler, Eyal Gur, Roy Inbar, Arye Blachar, Fanny Sperber, Shlomi Kleiman, Ariel Yafo, Hanoch Elran, Tal Sella, Inna Naumov, Diana Kazanov, Sarah Kraus, Lior Galazan, Netta Reshef, Tali Sion-Tadmor, Miri Rozen, Eliezer LibermanMenachem Moshkowitz, Nadir Arber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cancer is a leading cause of mortality worldwide. The most effective way to combat cancer is by prevention and early detection. Objectives: To evaluate the outcome of screening an asymptomatic population for the presence of benign and neoplastic lesions. Methods: Routine screening tests for prevention and/or early detection of 11 common cancers were conducted in 300 consecutive asymptomatic apparently healthy adults aged 25-77 years. Other tests were performed as indicated. Results: Malignant and benign lesions were found in 3.3% and 5% of the screenees, respectively, compared to 1.7% in the general population. The most common lesions were in the gastrointestinal tract followed by skin, urogenital tract and breast. Advanced age and a family history of a malignancy were associated with increased risk for cancer with an odds ratio of 9 and 3.5, respectively (95% confidence interval 1.1-71 and 0.9-13, respectively). Moreover, high serum C-reactive protein levels and polymorphisms in the APC and CD24 genes indicated high cancer risk. When two of the polymorphisms existed in an individual, the risk for a malignant lesion was extremely high (23.1%; OR 14, 95% CI 2.5-78). Conclusions: Screening asymptomatic subjects identifies a significant number of neoplastic lesions at an early stage. Incorporating data on genetic polymorphisms in the APC and CD24 genes can further identify individuals who are at increased risk for cancer. Cancer can be prevented and/or diagnosed at an early stage using the screening facilities of a multidisciplinary outpatient clinic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-25
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Cancer
  • Early detection
  • Genetic polymorphisms
  • Prevention
  • Screening


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