Table 1.

Outcome measures encountered in preventive screening

MEASUREHOW TO CALCULATEADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES IN PATIENT RISK COMMUNICATION
Mortality (overall and disease specific)The number of patients who died divided by the total number of patients in the study population.
Mortality would be calculated separately for the control and intervention groups in randomized controlled trials
  • Provides the highest-quality estimate of the benefits of cancer screening

  • Results unaffected by lead-time, length-time, or overdiagnosis bias

5- or 10-year survival rates (absolute rate)The number of individuals who are alive at 5 or 10 years after the time of diagnosis of disease divided by the total number diagnosed with the disease
  • Provides exaggerated estimates of the benefits of preventive screening owing to lead-time, length-time, and overdiagnosis bias

Incidence (new cases)The number of new events or cases that develop during a given time period in the total population at risk
  • Provides exaggerated estimates of benefits of preventive screening owing to overdiagnosis