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When women get a blood test during pregnancy that looks at free-floating DNA, they expect it to tell about the health of the fetus. But the test sometimes finds signs of cancer in the mother. Isabel Seliger for NPR hide caption

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Isabel Seliger for NPR

A new kind of blood test can screen for many cancers — as some pregnant people learn

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A new European study grabbed headlines this week, as it seemed to question the efficacy of colonoscopies as a cancer screening tool. But U.S. physicians say there were big limits to that study. They cite more than a decade of research showing colonoscopies save lives. lechatnoir/Getty Images hide caption

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lechatnoir/Getty Images

Colonoscopies save lives. Doctors push back against European study that casts doubt

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This microscope image from the National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research shows human colon cancer cells with the nuclei stained red. Americans should start getting screened for colon cancer at age 45, according to new guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. AP hide caption

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AP

Declines in smoking contributed to a drop in lung cancer death rates that helped drive down overall cancer death rates in the U.S., according to the latest analysis of trends by the American Cancer Society. VIEW press/Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

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VIEW press/Corbis via Getty Images

Progress On Lung Cancer Drives Historic Drop In U.S. Cancer Death Rate

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Screening for lung cancer can catch tumors but it can also produce false positives. Patients need to decide whether it's right for them, but doctors often don't know how to advise them. FS Productions/Getty Images/Blend Images hide caption

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FS Productions/Getty Images/Blend Images

Immunofluorescent light micrograph of human colon cancer cells, highlighting the nucleus of each cell in pink. U.S. doctors have been seeing an increase in colorectal cancer cases — and deaths — among people under age 50. SPL/Science Source hide caption

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SPL/Science Source

Get Screened Earlier For Colorectal Cancer, Urges American Cancer Society

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Hairdressers spend more time looking at the tops of heads than anyone else, so are well positioned to spot suspicious skin changes. CommerceandCultureAgency/Getty Images hide caption

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CommerceandCultureAgency/Getty Images

Colored scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of cultured cancer cells from a human cervix, showing numerous blebs (lumps) and microvilli (hair-like structures) characteristic of cancer cells. Cancer of the cervix (the neck of the uterus) is one of the most common cancers affecting women. Magnification: x3000 when printed 10 centimetres wide. Steve Gschmeissner/Science Photo Library/Getty Images hide caption

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Steve Gschmeissner/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Testing for changes in cells of the cervix or for presence of the HPV virus are both good ways to screen for cervical cancer, health organizations say. GARO/Canopy/Getty Images hide caption

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GARO/Canopy/Getty Images

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says the risks of screening for thyroid cancer in people without symptoms outweigh the benefits. kaisersosa67/Getty Images hide caption

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kaisersosa67/Getty Images

Don't Screen For Thyroid Cancer, Task Force Says

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A common blood test checks for elevated levels of prostate-specific antigens (PSA) in a man's blood, as an indicator that he may have prostate cancer. Renphoto/Getty Images hide caption

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Renphoto/Getty Images

Federal Task Force Softens Opposition To Routine Prostate Cancer Screening

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Rep. Tom Price, President Trump's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, has criticized a task force of medical experts whose recommendations guide health screening and disease prevention. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

A color-enhanced spiral CT image of the chest shows a large cancerous mass (in yellow) in the left upper lobe. Medical Body Scans/Science Source hide caption

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Medical Body Scans/Science Source

Lung Cancer Screening Program Finds A Lot That's Not Cancer

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Mammograms are good at finding lumps, but it can be hard to determine which could become life-threatening and which are harmless. Damian Dovarganes/AP hide caption

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Damian Dovarganes/AP

Danish Study Raises More Questions About Mammograms' Message

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Following up a mammogram with an ultrasound exam can find more cancers. But the additional test can also find more false positives that aren't cancer at all. F. Astier/Centre Hospitalier Regional/Science Source hide caption

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F. Astier/Centre Hospitalier Regional/Science Source