Colorectal cancer screening: Results of a 5-year program in asymptomatic subjects at increased risk

A. Pezzoli, V. Matarese, M. Rubini, M. Simoni, G.C. Caravelli, R. Stockbrugger, V. Cifala, S. Boccia, C. Feo, L. Simone, L. Trevisani, A. Liboni, S. Gullini

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BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The province of Ferrara has one of the highest incidences of colorectal cancer (CRC) in Italy. In January 2000, we set up a colonoscopy screening program focussing on first-degree relatives of CRC patients. We now report the results 5 years after the beginning of the project. SCREENEES AND METHODS: In October 1999, we started a campaign stressing the usefulness of colonoscopy for the first-degree relatives of CRC patients. Subjects included in the screening program were aged between 45 and 75 years with at least one first-degree relative affected by CRC. They were invited to an interview where a physician suggested colonoscopy as a screening option. RESULTS: In 5 years, 776 subjects were interviewed and 733 (94.4%) agreed to an endoscopic examination (M/F:375/401; mean age 55 years): 562 colonoscopies were performed. Adenomas and cancers were found in 122 (21.7%) and 12 (2.1%) subjects, respectively. Histological examination in 181 persons with lesions (32.8%) showed (most serious lesion quoted) 47 hyperplastic polyps (26% of all lesions), 2 serrated adenomas (1.1%), 68 tubular adenomas (48%), 24 tubulovillous adenomas (13.3%), 9 adenomas with high grade dysplasia (5%) and 12 adenocarcinomas (6.6%). The majority of the cancers were at an early stage (8 Dukes A and 3 Dukes B). Sedation was used in only 42 colonoscopies (7.5%). CONCLUSIONS: A colonoscopy-based screening in this selected high-risk population is feasible. Even without sedation subjects readily agreed to the endoscopic procedure. We identified a significant number of advanced neoplasms and cancers at an early stage suggesting that this could be a useful tool in early identification of CRC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-39
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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