The first 2 years of colorectal cancer screening in Ferrara, Italy

Vincenzo G. Matarese, Carlo Vittorio Feo*, Giovanni Lanza, Nadia Fusetti, Maria Cristina Carpanelli, Serena Cataldo, Viviana Cifala, Stefano Ferretti, Roberta Gafa, Marina Marzola, Enrica Montanari, Caterina Palmonari, Loredana Simone, Lucio Trevisani, Reinhold Stockbrugger, Sergio Gullini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We report on the first screening round in the District of Ferrara, a region of Emilia-Romagna, carried out between March 2005 and March 2007 to illustrate the effort of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening from administration and information to therapy and follow-up. After invitation of 38 344 persons aged 50-69 years (28.5%), 19 480 (50.8%) accepted the immunological faecal occult blood test, with 1 149 (6%) resulting positive. One thousand and one individuals (88.2%) who tested positive for immunological faecal occult blood test accepted examination by either colonoscopy (99.5%) or barium enema (0.5%). Out of 996 screenees having a colonoscopy, 231 had low-risk adenomas (23.2%) and 239 had high-risk adenomas (24%), and were treated endoscopically (96%) or surgically (4%). Ninety-one cancers were diagnosed in 9.1% of colonoscopies (Dukes stadia: A, 58.2%; B, 19.8%; C, 18.7%; D, 3.3%). Fourteen cancers (all in polyps) were treated endoscopically, and the remaining 77 were treated by surgery. One Dukes B patient and 13 of 17 Dukes C patients received adjuvant chemotherapy. Three Dukes D patients had chemotherapy only. During the 2-year study period, 87 screenees had a follow-up colonoscopy: no neoplasia was found in 35 patients initially diagnosed with cancer; low-risk adenomas were found in 31 of 52 patients with initial high-risk adenomas. In conclusion, the first CRC screening round in Ferrara was easy to organize, had a high acceptance, and detected 91 cancers (78% of which were in Dukes stages A and B, compared with only 40% in sporadic CRC in the same background population). Chemotherapy was necessary in 17 cases. This report may motivate other health authorities to initiate CRC screening campaigns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-168
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Prevention
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • adenoma
  • adjuvant chemotherapy
  • colorectal neoplasms
  • follow-up studies
  • mass screening
  • therapy


Dive into the research topics of 'The first 2 years of colorectal cancer screening in Ferrara, Italy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this