Decision Science and Cervical Cancer


Journal Article

Mathematical modeling is an effective tool for guiding cervical cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment decisions for patients and policymakers. This article describes the use of mathematical modeling as outlined in five presentations from the Decision Science and Cervical Cancer session of the Second International Conference on Cervical Cancer held at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, April 11-14, 2002. The authors provide an overview of mathematical modeling, especially decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis, and examples of how it can be used for clinical decision making regarding the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cervical cancer. Included are applications as well as theory regarding decision science and cervical cancer. Mathematical modeling can answer such questions as the optimal frequency for screening, the optimal age to stop screening, and the optimal way to diagnose cervical cancer. Results from one mathematical model demonstrated that a vaccine against high-risk strains of human papillomavirus was a cost-effective use of resources, and discussion of another model demonstrated the importance of collecting direct non-health care costs and time costs for cost-effectiveness analysis. Research presented indicated that care must be taken when applying the results of population-wide, cost-effectiveness analyses to reduce health disparities. Mathematical modeling can encompass a variety of theoretical and applied issues regarding decision science and cervical cancer. The ultimate objective of using decision-analytic and cost-effectiveness models is to identify ways to improve women's health at an economically reasonable cost. © 2003 American Cancer Society.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cantor, SB; Fahs, MC; Mandelblatt, JS; Myers, ER; Sanders, GD; Follen, M

Published Date

  • November 1, 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 98 / 9 SUPPL.

Start / End Page

  • 2003 - 2008

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0008-543X

Citation Source

  • Scopus