Australian doctor warns against BMJ’s bowel screening advice

The recommendations are not consistent with the evidence in this country, says Professor Karen Canfell
Professor Karen Canfell
Professor Karen Canfell.

An international panel has recommended against routine screening for bowel cancer among healthy older people, saying two-yearly FOBTs “may have little or no effect” on cancer incidence.

Writing in the BMJ, the 21-person panel said patients aged 50-79 must have a 3% or higher risk of bowel cancer over the next 15 years — based on personal and family medical history — for the benefits of screening to outweigh the downsides, including cost.