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01.09.2009 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2009

Techniques in Coloproctology 3/2009

Screening for colorectal cancer using a quantitative immunochemical faecal occult blood test: a feasibility study in an Asian population

Techniques in Coloproctology > Ausgabe 3/2009
W.-P. Fu, M.-H. Kam, W.-M. Ling, S.-F. Ong, N. Suzannah, Kong-Weng Eu



The quantitative immunochemical faecal occult blood test (qFOBT) has been shown to be an accurate method of identifying significant colorectal neoplasia including cancer and advanced adenomas. This study reports the results of a Singapore population-based colorectal cancer screening event using the qFOBT.


This event was held as part of a colorectal cancer awareness exhibition. All asymptomatic individuals above the age of 40 years with no previous colorectal cancer screening in the last 1 year were invited to participate. Eligible participants were screened using two consecutive qFOBTs with a positive faecal haemoglobin threshold taken at 100 ng/mL. Participants with at least one positive qFOBT result were recalled and advised to undergo colonoscopy. Endoscopic polypectomy or surgery was performed according to colonoscopic findings.


A total of 751 (55% male, 45% female) participants with a median age of 53 years (range, 40–85 years) took part in the screening event. Five hundred and forty (72%) participants returned the qFOBT samples, of which 57 (11%) tested positive. Fifty-two of these participants proceeded to colonoscopy. Three participants had sigmoid cancer and 12 had advanced polyps, all of which were located distally in the sigmoid colon or rectum. Five of the participants required surgery for colorectal neoplasia and all recovered well without complications.


The qFOBT at a positive faecal haemoglobin threshold of 100 ng/ml has a high positive predictive value and is an effective screening tool for colorectal cancer in an Asian population.

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