Colorectal cancer screening in LHU4 Chiavarese, Italy: ethical, methodological and outcome evaluations at the end of the first round

J Prev Med Hyg. 2012 Mar;53(1):37-43.


INTRODUCTION. The screening programmes are very challenging from the ethical perspective, and their impact in terms of morbidity and mortality make secondary colorectal cancer prevention a valuable public health intervention.

Methods: The target population people aged 50-69 years receive an invitation card with a test-tube for the fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and an immunochemical test is used for fecal occult blood. Subjects positive to FOBT are invited to perform a gastroenterologic examination and a full colonoscopy.

Results: In the firt round of screening, 100% of the target population has been invited with an adhesion rate of 41.3%. A total of 1739 FOBT-positive subjects have been invited to the second level of the screening. 1429 of them have performed the gastroenterologic examination (83.9%). To date 956 full colonoscopies have been completed and the rate of subjects affected by carcinoma, malignant polyp and advanced adenoma has been equal to 23.5%.

Discussion: Thanks to the reminders already sent, an increasing compliance has been registered with an increased rate of subjects with a low schooling that have performed a FOBT test. With the aim to optimize all the operative aspects of the screening programme it is already ongoing a set of meetings between health workers of Local Health Unit 4 and General Practioners.

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyps / diagnosis
  • Adenomatous Polyps / prevention & control
  • Aged
  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Colonoscopy / statistics & numerical data
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • National Health Programs / organization & administration
  • Occult Blood*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Prevalence
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Sigmoidoscopy / statistics & numerical data


  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic