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"Picking up cancer early is a prerequisite to saving lives," said Ian Jacobs, one of the study's authors and dean of health sciences research and director of the Institute for Women's Health at University College London. "But the question is, is this early enough?"
Experts will also have to weigh the tests' benefits against its costs. "It's a big and expensive jump to decide that (national) screening programs might be beneficial," Smith said.
With any screening test, authorities must determine whether the tests save enough lives to merit the financial and other costs, like patients who will have unnecessary surgeries or psychological distress.
Several companies in the United States are seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration to sell their tests.
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