Impact of the Scottish Bowel Cancer Screening Programme on patient and tumour characteristics at a single centre

Craig MacKay* (Corresponding Author), George Ramsay, Anthony Rafferty, Malcolm Loudon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Aims The Scottish National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme aims to detect asymptomatic colorectal carcinomas and improve outcomes by identifying tumours at an earlier stage. We describe the characteristics of bowel cancers diagnosed through the screening programme since it was established in June 2007 by comparison with colorectal carcinomas from all other referral sources. Methods All patients with colorectal cancer discussed by our regional colorectal multidisciplinary team (MDT) from June 2007 to August 2011 were included. Patient and tumour characteristics were collated prospectively from MDT records. The database was then reviewed retrospectively. Results During the study 209 916 (58%) of 364 759 invitations to participate in screening were accepted yielding 3895 (1.9%) positive results. The 255 (17%) screening-detected (SD) patients and 1232 (83%) other referrals (ORs) were discussed at the MDT within this period. Median age at diagnosis was 65.5 years for SD vs. 71.6 in OR (P < 0.001) with 64% vs. 53% male [SD vs. OR (P < 0.001)]. There were more left-sided tumours in SD (P = 0.005). Tumours were less advanced in SD group (P = 0.02) and more likely to undergo a laparoscopic resection (P = 0.003). Thirty (11.7%) of SD patients were dead at last follow-up compared with 458 (37.2%) of those from other sources (P < 0.001). Conclusions This cohort from a centre with an established screening programme supports the effect of screening in detecting earlier stage. Those with screen-detected tumours were more likely to survive than patients from the OR group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-11
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Issue number1
Early online date29 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
EventThe International Surgical Congress of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland 2012 - Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 May 201211 May 2012


  • public health


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