The introduction of biennial colorectal cancer screening in a region of France increased the rate of diagnosis of high risk pre-cancerous adenomas (sometimes called polyps) by 89%, researchers have reported at the ESMO 2014 Congress in Madrid. Dr Vanessa Cottet from INSERM Unité 866 in Dijon, France, and colleagues studied the region of Côte-d’Or, where a registry has been collecting data on adenomas since 1976.

They wanted to evaluate the rate of diagnosis of adenomas before and after the initiation of a screening program using fecal occult blood testing that began in 2003. The study included all residents aged between 50 and 74 years of age who had a first adenoma identified between January 1997 and December 2008.

The researchers showed that 38.7% of these people had high-risk adenomas – meaning they were larger than 1 centimetre in diameter, involved the finger-like projections called villi in the intestinal lining, or exhibited a high grade of dysplasia.

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