A 5-year evaluation of using stool-based test for opportunistic colorectal cancer screening in primary health institutions across Malaysia

Colorectal Cancer

Cancer Epidemiol. 2020 Sep 27;69:101829. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2020.101829. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: The immunochemical fecal occult blood test (iFOBT) has been widely used for opportunistic colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in average-risk individuals seeking care from public health clinics in Malaysia. This study provides a 5-year outcome evaluation of such a practice.

METHODS: The findings for a few outcome indicators, ranging from the iFOBT uptake to the CRC and polyp detection rates, were generated from the data contributed by 583 public health clinics between 2014 and 2018. The trends in their changes were also evaluated.

RESULTS: The iFOBT uptake constantly increased over the years (p < 0.001), totaling 2.29 % (n = 127,957) as at 2018. Nearly 10 % (n = 11,872) of the individuals screened had a positive test result. Of those who underwent colonoscopy (n = 6,491), 4.04 % (n = 262) and 13.93 % (n = 904) were found to have CRC and polyps, respectively.

CONCLUSION: An uptrend in the CRC screening uptake was witnessed following the introduction of the iFOBT in public health clinics.