Results of colorectal cancer screening of the national cancer screening program in Korea, 2008

Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Dec;42(4):191-8. doi: 10.4143/crt.2010.42.4.191. Epub 2010 Dec 31.


Purpose: This study aims to investigate the current situation of national colorectal cancer screening by analyzing participation rates, positive rates of screening methods and screening rate of secondary screening tests in colorectal screening of the national cancer screening program in 2008.

Materials and methods: With database about target population and screened individuals of the national cancer screening program, the results of target population and participants of colorectal cancer screening in 2008 were analyzed. Among adults aged over 50 years of medical aid and beneficiaries of national health insurance paying lower 50% premiums in the total subscribers, 4,640,365 were target population of colorectal cancer screening and the data of 984,915 undergoing fecal occult blood test (FOBT) as a primary screening were analyzed.

Results: The colorectal cancer screening rate was 21.2% and the rates of national health insurance subscribers, females and the elderly aged 60-64 years were higher than those of others. The recipients with a positive result in FOBT recorded approximately 7.5%. Medical aid beneficiaries (7.9%), males (8.8%) and seniors aged over 75 years (9.1%) showed higher positive rates than the average one. Out of the FOBT positive recipients, 43.0% took a secondary screening and the rate undergoing colonoscopy (31.4%) was higher than that of doing double-contrast barium enema test (11.6%).

Conclusion: Colorectal cancer screening rate of medical aid beneficiaries and people paying lower 50% premiums among national health insurance subscribers, was different according to demographic characters (gender, age and types of health insurance). This finding meant that screening for the vulnerable needed to be encouraged by considering socio-demographic characters. Additionally, more efforts were necessary to increase the secondary screening rate of people with a positive result in primary one.

Keywords: Colorectal neoplasms; Early detection of cancer; Korea; Mass screening.