Study backs Finland’s colon cancer screening

LONDON (Reuters) - A national screening program in Finland has detected about 40 percent of colon cancers early, showing that such tests can make a difference, Finnish researchers reported on Friday.

Researchers studied 106,000 men and women aged between 60 and 64 across Finland to examine the effectiveness of a colon cancer screening program started in 2004 in which fecal samples are analyzed for blood.

Blood traces can be an indicator of cancer.

Colorectal, or colon and rectal, cancer is the second most fatal form of cancer in Europe and the United States.

The team found that the test identified four out of ten colon cancers, enough to say the program was successful.

“The sensitivity of the Finnish screening program for colorectal cancer at the first round was adequate even if relatively low,” the researchers wrote in the British Medical Journal.

“Program sensitivity in Finland was sufficient to justify continuation of the program.”

The findings suggest that similar programs introduced in about 50 countries may be working.

In the United States, men are advised to begin regular colonoscopies at the age of 50. But the procedure, in which a flexible lit tube is passed through the bowel, can be costly, uncomfortable and harmful for a patient.

National health systems are beginning to adopt a simpler test in which doctors analyze a fecal sample for blood.

Previous studies looked chiefly at how well the tests worked in clinical trials rather than investigating a screening system already up and running, said Nea Malila of the Finnish Cancer Registry, who led the study.

“This seems to be working in a public health setting as well as it did in trials,” she said in a telephone interview.

(Reporting by Michael Kahn; Editing by Will Dunham and Catherine Bosley)


Related Posts:

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Colorectal cancer diagnoses and deaths have fallen in the United States this decade, but the gap in progress between whites and blacks is widening, the American Cancer Society said on Monday. Improvement has come about chiefly due to prevention and early detection through colonoscopy and other screening methods recommended starting at

Full Post: U.S. blacks lag whites in colorectal cancer progress

By David Douglas NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A simplified colorectal cancer screening test that detects tumor DNA in stool is an improvement over an earlier-generation assay, according to North American researchers. “This new version of the stool DNA test offers rather high sensitivity for colorectal cancer using a much simpler assay,” lead investigator Dr. Steven Itzkowitz

Full Post: Improved stool DNA test helps spot colon cancer

By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - A screening schedule that alternates between a breast MRI and a mammogram every six months may do a better job of spotting early cancers in high-risk women than an annual exam, U.S. researchers said on Saturday. Women who are at high risk for breast cancer currently get a yearly mammogram and

Full Post: Rotating breast cancer tests helps high-risk women

By Will Boggs, MD NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The surgical removal of small colon polyps found during computed tomography imaging of the colon, or CT colonography, is costly and unnecessary, according to a new study. “We shouldn’t aggressively pursue sub-centimeter lesions, since the costs, risks, and inconvenience of the subsequent colonoscopy outweighs the clinical importance of

Full Post: Removing small colon polyps costly, unnecessary

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Primary-care doctors perform colonoscopies just as well as specialists, a finding that could help meet the rising need for this important colorectal cancer screening test, U.S. researchers said on Monday. As populations in the United States and other nations age, the number of people who could benefit from a colonoscopy is

Full Post: Primary-care doctors do colonoscopies well: study

Site Navigation

Most Read