Questions about breast and cervical cancer screenings are the latest issues to arise in relation to comparative effectiveness research (CER) -- research that compares the benefits and harms of different means of preventing, diagnosing, and treating particular clinical conditions in particular patients.Fewer than half of medical interventions used today are supported by scientific evidence, according to a recent Institute of Medicine report. CER received $1.1 billion in stimulus money and is part of the debate over this year's health care reform bills.Will CER improve the quality of the health care system? What can we glean from the experiences of other nations? What can we learn from CER, particularly about major diseases like cancer? What are its limitations and ethical concerns? How can?or should?CER inform the decisions of medical consumers and their physicians?moreless
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