Results of a Television-Advertised Public Screening Program for Colorectal Cancer

Thomas J. Mcgarrity, Patricia A. Long, Laurie P. Peiffer, Joseph O. Converse, Arthur F. Kreig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We report the results of a free, television-advertised mass screening program for colorectal cancer using stool guaiac kits. A total of 57000 test kits were picked up and 29619 (53%) were returned; 3.9% (1165) of the tests were positive. Ninety-three percent of persons with a positive screen sought medical evaluation after screening. Detailed follow-up was available on 744 persons. Fifty-eight persons had large-bowel carcinomas diagnosed, 80% of which were localized. One hundred sixty persons had adenomatous polyps removed. Forty percent of cancers and 58% of polyps were detected in persons with only one or two positive test slides out of a total of six. In 33% of persons with a positive screen, the diagnostic workup consisted of a repeated stool guaiac test and/or sigmoidoscopy only. A major drawback to improving the results of mass screening programs for colorectal cancer is the limited gastrointestinal workup conducted by physicians in many persons with a positive fecal occult blood test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-144
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine


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