Klin Onkol 2014; 27(Suppl 2): 87-97. DOI: 10.14735/amko20142S87.
Introduction: The nationwide Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme was introduced in the Czech Republic in 2000. The aim of this article is to describe the employment of faecal occult blood tests (FOBTs) by the Czech population within the screening programme, and to provide information on the latest results of the programme. Material and Methods: Data on the development of the colorectal cancer (CRC) burden in the Czech population is obtained from the Czech National Cancer Registry, a database required by the Czech law that has been collecting comprehensive data on cancer patients since 1977. Data on FOBT employment can be obtained from health care payers, and was provided by the Czech National Reference Centre. Results: Around 8,000 patients are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the Czech Republic each year, and the number of CRC deaths is about 4,000. Despite the ongoing screening programme, significant improvements in the proportional representation of cancer stages (i.e., improvements in early detection of CRC cases) have yet to be seen. Although the number of FOBTs performed in the Czech Republic has significantly grown in the long term (which is accompanied by an increase in coverage by this screening test), the total coverage of the Czech population aged over 50 was only 25.5% in 2012. The Olomouc Region, the Zlin region, and the Usti nad Labem region had the highest coverage rates by CRC screening based on FOBT (over 28%), while the Capital of Prague had the lowest coverage rate (18%). Since 2008, FOBT positivity rates have seen a continuous and significant increase, reaching 6.9% in 2012. Between 13 to 14% of FOBTs in women are performed by practical gynaecologists. Conclusion: Despite a significant increase in the participation rate in recent years, which was partially improved by the involvement of practical gynaecologists, the programme unfortunately still covers only a quarter of the eligible population. Implementation of effective measures aimed at getting people interested in preventive examinations (including the recently introduced programme of personalized invitations) is therefore essential; otherwise, the screening programme will not be successful on the population level.