OBJECTIVES: To review criteria for mass cancer screening among asymptomatic populations and barriers to secondary prevention of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers. To describe challenges to implementing theoretically based interventions to increase appropriate cancer screening, follow-up, and surveillance. DATA SOURCES: Published journal articles, text books, and epidemiologic reports. CONCLUSION: Interventions to increase breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening participation must be approached from a systems perspective that includes patient, health care provider, and health care system variables. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Understanding the array of factors that impede progress in the secondary prevention of cancer is necessary to improve care. Nurses have an important role in decreasing morbidity and mortality from breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers.
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