A population-based screening is a systematic offer of screening to a population group with predetermined common characteristics. For example, they may be women and/or men belonging to a certain age group. In population screening, screening is carried out for a disease (e.g. breast cancer) or a precursor of a disease (e.g. colon polyps) or for a health risk (e.g. an unhealthy lifestyle), without there being any health complaints related to the disease, precursor or risk in question.
Timely detection of risks or diseases can prevent these getting worse and increases the likelihood of a cure.
A population screening may involve various screening tools, such as a questionnaire, a physical examination, a measurement or a test of body material, such as a blood test.