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No benefit from screening

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11:42am, May 7, 2002

Tests of children's urine for signs of neuroblastoma missed many tumors that later become deadly and detected some cancer that would have disappeared on its own, according to two studies in the April 4 New England Journal of Medicine.

In the first study, researchers led by William G. Woods of Emory University in Atlanta screened about 440,000 newborns in Quebec between 1989 and 1994. The urine tests found signs of the nerve cell cancer about twice as frequently as expected based on medical records of other, unscreened children in North America. However, the death rate from neuroblastoma over the next 9 years was essentially the same.

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