Arguments against implementing a population-based screening programme for colorectal cancer. – Screening healthy people at low risk of colorectal cancer using faecal occult blood testing (FOBT) is an old method that was proven effective in reducing colorectal cancer mortality in randomised controlled trials published in 1993-1996. Screening reduced
colorectal cancer mortality by 1 per 10,000 person-years and increased colonoscopy rates by 50 per 10,000 person-years. Population screening increases the annual cost of the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer by at least 35%. Physicians and other well-informed citizens rarely undergo colorectal cancer screening. In prioritising health care needs, preference should be given to the needs of actual patients, rather than
placing demands on healthy individuals.