Introduction Bowel cancer is more common in men than women with age-adjusted incidence in the UK being over 50%% higher in men and mortality 63% higher. However uptake of the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in England (BCSP) has been generally about 5% lower in men1. We have examined whether with increasing familiarity with the BCSP there have been changes in uptake of screening invitations over the past 4 –5 years.
Methods Analysis of uptake of screening invitations by sex and 2 year age bands of people invited for screening by the Eastern Hub which covers the East of England and East Midlands (total population 10.6 million) between 1 Jan 2008 and 30 June 2012 by 6 month periods.
Results Over the 4.5 years > 2.8 million invitations were sent by the Eastern Hub. For those aged 60–61 years uptake by men was 9–10% lower than that by women (uptake 60%) with no evidence of any change over the 4 years. In women uptake remained over 60% for the 62–63, 64–65 and 66–67 age bands with a small increase over time reaching 65% in 2012. In men uptake showed a steady increase with age such that by age 68–69 uptake was only 2–3% lower than in women. For those aged 70–71 uptake in men and women was generally similar and for those aged 72–73 and those aged 74 uptake was around 2% higher in men than women. This was partly accounted for by a decline in uptake in women to below 60%. Analysis of time trends in those over 70 was unreliable because of only partial roll-out (‘age extension’) of the BCSP to this group in the Eastern region.
Conclusion While the small decline in uptake in women > 70 years is a concern the increasing uptake in men with age is encouraging and suggests that the introduction of simpler screening approaches using faecal immunochemical tests will see substantial increses in uptake of the BCSP2.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared.
Logan RF, Patnick J, Nickerson C, et al. Outcomes of the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in England after the first 1 million tests. Gut 2012, vol 61, pp1439–46.
van Rossum LG, van Rijn AF, Laheij RJ et al. Random comparison of guaiac and immunochemical faecal occult blood tests for colorectal cancer in a screening population Gastroenterology 2008 vol 135 pp82–90
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