Screening for colorectal cancer : sense and sensibilities
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
European journal of cancer. - Oxford, 1990, currens
, p. 156-163
University of Antwerp
Purpose In this paper we investigate the reasons for non-participation in a trial programme for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in Flanders. Besides, the feasibility and possibilities of a full-blown screening programme in Flanders are examined, given the context of a low participation rate in breast cancer screening. Methods A trial programme for CRC screening was set up for all average-risk persons aged 50 to 74 years in three Flemish regions to obtain information about potential participation rates, and to compare two invitation strategies. Faecal samples were analysed for precursors of CRC using an immunochemical faecal occult blood test (iFOBT). A questionnaire was administered to participants and non-participants of the trial programme to find out whether and to what extent the taking of a sample of one's own stool is a taboo. This could be of great importance concerning the participation rate. Results In total, 19,542 persons were invited to participate in the trial programme for CRC screening, of whom 18,541 were found to be eligible. The overall participation rate was 44.3%. The three regions varied in participation rates: with 60.9% in the most rural region to 34.3% in the most urban region. Of 2,000 questionnaires sent to participants, 1,385 were returned (69.3%). The response in the non-participants was 43.2%i (691 questionnaires of 1,600 returned). Conclusions A population-based screening programme for colorectal cancer by means of an iFOBT proves to be feasible, since adequate participation rates were obtained and because of the absence of a stool taboo in Flanders.