The First Screening Program for Colorectal Cancer in the North of Iran.


Research Center for Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths. This screening aimed to determine the positivity of the fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and the results of colonoscopy among a medium-risk population in the northern regions of Iran.
METHODS : This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2016 on 924 eligible samples from people over the age of 50. After completing the questionnaire, participants were referred to a laboratory for three immunochemical fecal occult blood tests (IFOBTs). If the result of at least one test was found to be positive, they were submitted to the state hospital for colonoscopy. Results were recorded according to the number of people with CRC, polyps, and other diseases.
RESULTS : Among a total number of 897 (97.1%) cases, at least two acceptable samples were sent to the laboratory and in 229 (25.5%) cases, at least one case was IFOBT-positive. Finally, 118 (64.1%) cases were referred to the hospital for colonoscopy; among these, 5 colonoscopies were incomplete, while 113 had complete colonoscopies with 42 healthy subjects, 3 cases of cancer, 28 cases of polyps, and other diseases identified in the remaining patients.
CONCLUSIONS : Based on the results, the prevalence of positive IFOBT, polyps, and cancer was high. The results of this study will play an important role in establishing a CRC screening program in the country. With reference to the status of the general population, the target group in the country should be reviewed and not limited to the first-degree relatives of patients.


Colonoscopy,Colorectal cancer,Fecal occult blood test,Polyps,Screening,

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