Experts back expanded FOBT program

A South Australian based study found the NBCSP led to the detection of stage A cancer at almost double the rate of early cancer diagnosed outside the screening program.

Close to half (43.1%) of all screen-detected cancers were in the curable stage whereas the rate of stage A cancers otherwise detected was 22.3%, researchers were due to tell Australian Gastroenterology Week in Brisbane this week.

For cancers not discovered until they had progressed to stage D, just 3.3% were detected in screened patients compared to 14.3% diagnosed outside the program.

“It’s good from both ends of the spectrum really,” said Stephen Cole, principal medical scientist at the Bowel Health Service at Adelaide’s Repatriation General Hospital, who led the research.

“There’s less cancers that would be unlikely to be cured, and we get far more with a chance of cure… We seem to have shifted the balance across the profile.