Background: Mortality from colorectal cancer (CCR) in Chile has nearly doubled over the past 15 years. International studies have shown that CCR screening programs based on fecal occult blood test (FOBT) reduce CCR mortality.
Aim: To analyze the results from a CCR screening model in people over 50 years.
Material and methods: Between 2007 and 2009, a prospective multicenter study was performed in seven major Chilean cities. FOBT using an immunological method, was measured in asymptomatic subjects aged 50 years or more, without risk factors. In patients with a positive FOBT, with symptoms or with family risk factors, a colonoscopy was indicated.
Results: A total of 6348 subjects were assessed, FOBT was performed in 4938 of them, with a compliance of 77%. The result was positive in 9.6%. A total of 2359 colonoscopies were ordered, with an overall compliance of 50.1%. Of the 1184 colonoscopies performed, adenomas and high risk adenomas were found in 304 (26%) and 75 (6%) patients, respectively. Thirteen patients were diagnosed with stage I and IICCR. Three of these lesions were excised endoscopically and 10 surgically. The detection rate of polyps, high risk adenomas and cancer was 75, 12 and 2 per 1000 screened individuals, respectively.
Conclusions: This program allowed the early detection of an important number of high risk colon lesions, and all patients with CCR were diagnosed at early stages.