The colorectal cancer (CRC) screening program in Israel offers the average-risk population fecal occult blood tests from the age of 50 years. Compliance, however, is very low, reaching only 6% of eligible persons in 2005. Our aim in this study was to describe the results of an improved CRC screening program directed at the in-house staff of Beilinson Hospital. All employees of Beilinson Hospital over age 50 years were sent a letter explaining the new CRC screening program and an accompanying questionnaire. Responders who reported a family history of CRC or related cancers or symptoms were offered colonoscopy; the remainder were offered sigmoidoscopy or, if they preferred, colonoscopy. Two hundred twenty of the 888 candidates (24.7%) completed the questionnaire, of whom 144 (16.2%) agreed to further investigation. These included 90 of 105 patients with a positive questionnaire and 20 of 115 with a negative questionnaire who underwent colonoscopy and 34 of 115 with a negative questionnaire who underwent sigmoidoscopy. The colonoscopy group included 26 of the 30 patients (86.6%) with a positive family history. Early-stage CRC was diagnosed in three patients (1.36%), all with a positive questionnaire. There were no pathologic findings on sigmoidoscopy. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of the questionnaire for identifying subjects with CRC or advanced adenoma were 100.00%, 18.86%, 2.27%, and 100.00%, respectively. In conclusion, using hospital facilities, we initiated a unique CRC screening program for employees. Our method may be applicable in other medical centers for the detection of adenomas and CRCs in the early, curative stages.
- Colorectal cancer