Screening for colorectal cancer in Uruguay with an immunochemical faecal occult blood test

Eur J Cancer Prev. 2006 Oct;15(5):384-90. doi: 10.1097/00008469-200610000-00002.


An observational prospective study was carried out in Uruguay to evaluate the feasibility of colorectal cancer screening using immunochemical faecal occult blood tests with no dietary restrictions in an average-risk population. An automated system was used for processing the samples with a cut-off haemoglobin level of 100 ng/ml. Of the 11,734 study participants who received an immunochemical test kit (OC-Hemodia), 10,573 (90.1%) returned samples for screening. The results of 1170 (11.1%) of the responders were positive. Subsequently, colonoscopy was performed on 879 (75.1%) of the participants with a positive test result and showed neoplasia in 330 participants. Fifty four had advanced cancer, 47 had early cancer, 131 had high-risk adenoma and 98 had low-risk adenoma. The detection rates and the positive predictive values were 0.95 and 8.6% for cancer, and 1.24 and 11.2% for high-risk adenoma, respectively. The high compliance and high detection rates for cancer and high-risk adenoma achieved in the colorectal cancer screening programme verifies the feasibility of an immunochemical faecal occult blood test in screening an average-risk population in Uruguay, a country with a small population, but with high morbidity and mortality rates for this disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / pathology
  • Aged
  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods*
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Occult Blood*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Uruguay