Implementation of population screening for colorectal cancer by direct colonoscopy or follow-up colonoscopy after a positive fecal blood test has challenged the overall capacity of bowel examinations. Certain countries are facing serious colonoscopy capacity constraints, which have led to waiting lists and long-time latency of follow-up examinations. Various options for improvement are considered, including increased cut-off values of the fecal blood tests. Results from major clinical studies of blood-based, cancer-associated biomarkers have led to focus, however, on a triage concept for improved selection to colonoscopy. The triage test may include subject age, concentration of hemoglobin in a feces test and a combination of certain blood-based cancer associated biomarkers. Recent results have indicated that triage may reduce the requirements for colonoscopy by around 30%. Such results may be advantageous for the capacity, the heath budgets and in particular, the subjects, who do not need an unnecessary, unpleasant and risk-associated bowel examination.
Keywords: Biomarkers; Blood test; Colonoscopy; Colorectal cancer; Screening; Triage.
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