Screening for colorectal cancer in Uruguay with an immunochemical faecal occult blood test


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Abstract

An observational prospective study was carried out in Uruguay to evaluate the feasibility of colorectal cancer screening using immunochemical faecal occult blood tests with no dietary restrictions in an average-risk population. An automated system was used for processing the samples with a cut-off haemoglobin level of 100 ng/ml. Of the 11 734 study participants who received an immunochemical test kit (OC-Hemodia), 10 573 (90.1%) returned samples for screening. The results of 1170 (11.1%) of the responders were positive. Subsequently, colonoscopy was performed on 879 (75.1%) of the participants with a positive test result and showed neoplasia in 330 participants. Fifty four had advanced cancer, 47 had early cancer, 131 had high-risk adenoma and 98 had low-risk adenoma. The detection rates and the positive predictive values were 0.95 and 8.6% for cancer, and 1.24 and 11.2% for high-risk adenoma, respectively. The high compliance and high detection rates for cancer and high-risk adenoma achieved in the colorectal cancer screening programme verifies the feasibility of an immunochemical faecal occult blood test in screening an average-risk population in Uruguay, a country with a small population, but with high morbidity and mortality rates for this disease.

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