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January 1988

Results of a Mass Screening Program for Colorectal Cancer

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Miller and Stanley) and Medical Education (Dr Stanley), Methodist Hospitals of Memphis.

Arch Surg. 1988;123(1):63-65. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1988.01400250073012

• Following a series of educational newscasts about colorectal cancer that were aired on a local television news program, stool guaiac slide kits were distributed on request to 72000 persons in Memphis. One or more slides were positive in 1310 (6%) of the 23 000 kits returned. Of the 1310 individuals with positive cultures, 597 (45%) saw a physician for further evaluation. Sixty-five of these persons received inadequate evaluations. Of the 532 individuals (90%) who received adequate evaluations, 154 (26%) had no evidence of pathology that would account for occult blood. Of the remaining 443 persons, 26 were found to have colorectal cancer, and 20 of these 26 persons were found to have surgically amenable lesions (Dukes' stages A through B2). In addition, 67 potentially precancerous polyps were found. Mass screening for colorectal cancer using guaiac slide tests, coupled with patient compliance for a screening protocol and adequate follow-up evaluation, has the potential to identify and treat early colorectal cancer.

(Arch Surg 1988;123:63-65)