Colorectal Cancer Screening Program in UK Detects More Early-Stage Cancers
A colorectal cancer screening program implemented by England’s government detects left-sided colon cancer more often than right-sided colon cancer, which is thought to be more aggressive, according to an analysis of 1 million test results.
According to the study, the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BCSP) detected about 71 percent of the cancers early.
Also, it was thought that left-sided colon cancer would account for 67 percent of the cancers detected, while 24 percent would be right-sided. However, the study found that about 77 percent of the cancers were left-sided and 14 percent were right-sided.
"Different screening strategies may be required to effectively screen for right-sided bowel cancer," the researchers said, according to HealthDay.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from 1 million people who took part in the program by October 2008. Of those participating, 2.5 percent of men and 1.5 percent of women [or about 21,000 in all] had an abnormal test result, prompting 17,500 participants to undergo further examination, usually a colonoscopy. Additionally, men were more likely than women to have colon cancer.
The program, introduced by the government in 2006, went nationwide by the end of 2009 for people aged 60 to 69 and has since been extended to persons over 70. Program participants undergo three fecal occult screening tests biennially. Fecal occult tests reveal blood in the stool that is not visible to the naked eye.
This study appears in the Dec. 7 issue of the journal Gut