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June 20, 1980

Aftermath of the ACS bombshell

JAMA. 1980;243(23):2373-2374. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300490005002

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Although "an initial flurry of reaction" seems to be subsiding, the American Cancer Society (ACS) still is seeking to allay concern about its modified recommendations for early cancer detection checkups.

The organization is holding press conferences, issuing news releases, writing to physicians, offering explanatory articles in its publications, and calling on its local divisions to help explain the revised guidelines. Officials of the ACS say the changes "are based on updated information about the development and progression of various cancers, and the costs, risks, and effectiveness of the tests and procedures available to detect them."

Saul B. Gusberg, MD, DSc, the first gynecologist in some 25 years to be ACS president, emphasizes that "these are guidelines, not rules and regulations. Our overriding message to all patients is, 'Talk to your doctor about tests and guidelines, and ask questions.' Ultimately it is the physician who must decide what tests are necessary