2020 Volume 63 Issue 1 Pages 63-69
Background There is sufficient evidence to show the mortality reduction effect of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programs using the fecal occult blood test (FOBT). However, we see cases that are found to be advanced CRC despite yearly FOBT screening.
Methods The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics of advanced CRC detected by a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) screening program in participants with a negative screening result the previous year, which we call “Negative advanced CRC”. A total of 109,639 participants (10.0% required colonoscopy, of whom 76.9% received one) underwent a CRC screening program using a FIT from fiscal 2009 to 2017. Negative advanced CRC was compared with advanced CRC (First advanced CRC) found at the first visit in a person who had not had a FIT screening history for more than 3 years. In addition, we compared the characteristics of Negative advanced CRC with those of interval cancer: cancer cases detected after a negative screening result and before the date of the next recommended screening.
Results A total of 339 cases of CRC (175 male: 164 female, 173 early stage: 166 advanced stage) were detected in the nine-year CRC screening period. The rate of right-sided CRCs was significantly higher in female (P < 0.01), advanced stage (P < 0.01), negative result previous year (P < 0.01), and symptom-negative (P < 0.01) participants than in each counterpart, respectively. The ratio of female (22/35; 62.9%) patients in Negative advanced CRCs tended to be high compared with that (40/83; 48.2%) in First advanced CRCs (P = 0.145). Overall, 22 (62.9%) of 35 Negative advanced CRCs and 28 (33.7%) of 83 First advanced CRCs were located in the right-sided colon, and the rate was significantly higher in Negative advanced CRCs (P < 0.01). In addition, the frequency of female patients was significantly higher in right-sided Negative advanced CRCs than in right-sided First advanced CRCs (P = 0.03).
Conclusion The characteristics of Negative advanced CRC cases (female and right-sided colon) were similar to those of interval cancer reported so far. In the future, it will be necessary to introduce a screening program that is highly sensitive to right-sided CRC.