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We read with interest the results of the pilot study in England, which was performed to establish the acceptability and diagnostic performance of screening with the faecal immunochemical test (FIT) over the guaiac faecal occult blood test (gFOBT).1 When comparing gFOBT to FIT, the uptake increased from 59.4% to 66.4%, positivity rate increased from 1.7% to 7.8% (at a cut-off level of 20 µg Hb/g faeces) and colorectal cancer (CRC) detection doubled. Moreover, this report showed that also with FIT cut-off levels above 20 µg Hb/g faeces, improved clinical outcomes can be achieved over gFOBT. However, for a screening programme to be effective, it is a prerequisite to detect cancers in an early stage. Thus far, information on stage distribution of screen-detected CRCs in a population-based FIT screening programme is lacking.
In our study, we collected data on all CRCs detected in patients aged 60–75 years in the Netherlands in 2015 through the Netherlands Cancer Registry. In total, 9437 CRCs were diagnosed in 9301 patients: 3579 (38.5%) patients were diagnosed after a positive FIT in the CRC screening programme (screen-detected), 4506 (48.4%) patients were diagnosed due …
Contributors ET-Z and IL-V were responsible for study coordination. ET-Z, AK, MEvL and IL-V were responsible for the study design and writing the first version of the manuscript. ET-Z, AK, IL-V, MEvL, HJdK, MAE, VEL, ED and MCWS drafted the final manuscript. All authors gave critical revisions on intellectual content of the manuscript and approved the final manuscript.
Funding ET-Z’s work is funded by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).
Disclaimer The funder had no role in the data collection, statistical analyses and interpretation of the results of writing the manuscript.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval The data of this study originated from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. Data were supplied anonymously; therefore, ethical approval was not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement The data of this study originated from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. The authors are not owner of the data, therefore no unpublished data are available.
Collaborators LECO working group (National Monitoring and Evaluation of the Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme): EJ Kuipers, FJ van Kemenade, AJ van Vuuren, JMG Bonfrer, H van Veldhuizen, M van Ballegooijen, MGJ Thomeer, M Buskermolen, MF van Velthuysen and I Nagtegaal.
Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. The collaborators statement has been added.
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