A nationwide cancer screening program for colorectal cancer has been a success in Denmark, reports DR.
Figures from Central Denmark Region (Region Midtjylland) show that two out of three people have submitted a stool sample for examination, and thanks to that more cases of early-stage cancer have been discovered.
Before the program was launched, bowel cancer was detected in its early stages in only 26 percent of all cases, but since then doctors have been able to discover the disease early in 53 percent of all cases.
“If you are diagnosed with bowel cancer at an early stage, there is a greater chance of survival and with less invasive treatment and permanent damage,” Berit Andersen, a doctor at the regional hospital in Randers, told DR.
Men less eager to participate
Bowel cancer is the third-most common type of cancer in Denmark, primarily affecting people over the age of 50, and the mortality rate is high.
All Danish citizens aged 50-74 have been invited to take part in the screening program during the period 2014-2017.
While the total number of participants in the screening has been surprisingly high, men are less eager to submit their stool samples for examination and are gambling with their health, says Andersen.
The study has shown that more men (7.9 percent) than women (5.4 percent) from the targeted group had to be referred for further examination – a so-called colonoscopy.