Introduction: Faecal immunochemical test (FIT), faecal occult blood test (FOBT), flexible sigmoidoscopy (FS), Guaiac faecal occult blood test (gFOBT) and total colonoscopy (TC) can be used for colorectal cancer screening. However, Turkey and other European countries have different practices for colorectal screening tests, beginning-stopping ages and screening intervals.
Method: World Cancer Report, which was published by World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency For Research on Cancer in 2020, has been throughly examined (1).
Results: Colorectal cancer screening starting age is 40 in Bulgaria and Austria, whereas it is 50 in Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Scotland, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey, and it is 55 in Netherlands, Poland and Norway, whereas it is 60 in Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Sweden and United Kingdom. The stopping age for colorectal cancer screening is 60 in Bulgaria, 69 in Turkey, 80 in Austria and Switzerland. Interval period is 1 year in Bulgaria and Latvia, whereas it is 2 years in most of the European countries. Attendance to the colorectal screening programme is 1% in Hungary and Portugal, 2% in Poland, 8% in Greece and Spain,13% in Sweden, 30% in Turkey, 56% in United Kingdom and 61% in Austria.
Conclusion: WHO reported no definitive colorectal cancer screening interval period for Turkey, however, Turkish Ministry of Health recommends FOBT every 2 years and TC in every 10 years (2). For gFOBT, dietary restrictions are required before testing (1). However, FIT is based on human haemoglobin antibodies, and thus it does not require a special diet before testing. This might explain why FIT is the preferred colorectal cancer screening test in most of the European countries.
Keywords: cancer, colorectal, Europe, screening, Turkey
1- Wild CP, Weiderpass E, Stewart BW, editors (2020). World Cancer Report: Cancer Research for Cancer Prevention. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer. Available from: http://publications.iarc.fr/586. Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IGO.
2- Turkish Ministry of Health. Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme National Standards. Available from: https://hsgm.saglik.gov.tr/tr/kanser-tarama-standartlari/listesi/kolorektal-kanser-tarama-program%C4%B1-ulusal-standartlar%C4%B1.html