Screening for colorectal cancer and polyps Academic Article uri icon


  • Screening programs for the early detection of colorectal neoplasms may prevent cancer or improve its prognosis. We screened 1101 individuals (89% of whom were asymptomatic) using 3 methods. The fecal occult blood test, done in 96% of those screened, was positive in only 1.9% and was low in both sensitivity (2.1%) and positive predictive value (6.7%). However, flexible sigmoidoscopy, performed in 48%, gave positive results in 7.8% of those screened, revealing 41 cases of polyps and 1 of cancer. Colonoscopy was performed in 8% and 37 cases of polyps and 1 of cancer were detected. Of the 3 screening methods tested, sigmoidoscopy appeared to be the best because of its high diagnostic yield. The risk of colorectal neoplasm was shown for the first time to be equal in Jews of oriental and occidental origin.

publication date

  • April 1, 1992