VIENNA, March 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the most common type of GI cancer in Europe. It accounts for about half of all gastrointestinal malignancies and the annual incidence is predicted to rise by 12% by 2020.
In support of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, United European Gastroenterology (UEG) calls upon all EU countries to evaluate advanced screening techniques, such as the faecal immunological test (FIT), to help increase uptake and survival rates.
FIT is more advanced than the traditional three sample stool test, guaiac-based faecal occult blood tests (gFOBTs). It requires just a single sample to check for the presence of blood, a possible indicator of adenomas or CRC and with an easy collection device, it has been found to increase participation uptake.
More importantly, FIT offers substantial clinical benefits due to its superior analytical technique. The FIT technique is more sensitive than gFOBT and specific analysis for haemoglobin detects smaller levels of bleeding and therefore more early cancers as well as more adenomas. The number of false positives is also reduced as there is unlikely to be significant interference from dietary haemoglobin found in faeces.
"FIT offers an attractive alternative to gFOBT as a first-line screening procedure. It will also make it easier for Europeans at risk to get screened and ensure colorectal cancer gets detected early, enabling thousands to receive successful treatment," explains UEG expert Dr. Monique van Leerdam, from the Netherlands Cancer Institute.
Colorectal cancer is treatable when detected early, yet it is estimated to claim the lives of over 500 Europeans every day. According to the recent UEG Survey of Digestive Health across Europe, rates for colorectal cancer screening programmes vary widely from as little as 15% in areas of Poland to a healthier rate of 70% in Finland. However, uptake generally throughout Europe remains alarmingly low, with the percentage of eligible adults screened in many countries falling way short of the 65% rate considered desirable by the European Commission.
1. UEG Survey of Digestive Health across Europe. Part one: 2014.
2. International Agency for Research on Cancer
3. Mosen DM, et al. Participant uptake of the FIT decreases with the two-sample. Eur J Cancer 2014
4. Allison JE, et al. Population screening for colorectal cancer means getting FIT