Copyright ©2009 The WJG Press and Baishideng. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Dec 21, 2009; 15(47): 5907-5915
Published online Dec 21, 2009. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.5907
Colorectal cancer screening in Europe
Miroslav Zavoral, Stepan Suchanek, Filip Zavada, Ladislav Dusek, Jan Muzik, Bohumil Seifert, Premysl Fric
Miroslav Zavoral, Stepan Suchanek, Filip Zavada, Premysl Fric, Clinic of Medicine, Central Military Hospital, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, CZ16902, Czech Republic
Ladislav Dusek, Jan Muzik, Institute of Biostatistics and Analyses, Masaryk University, Brno, CZ60200, Czech Republic
Bohumil Seifert, Institute of General Medicine, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, CZ12800, Czech Republic
Author contributions: Zavoral M, Suchanek S and Zavada F carried out the data collection and wrote the initial draft of the manuscript; Dusek L and Muzik J wrote the epidemiology section of the manuscript; Fric P and Seifert B performed the overall scientific direction and revision.
Supported by International Agency for Research on Cancer (Lawrence von Karsa, MD); International Digestive Cancer Alliance (Professor Meinhard Classen, MD, Professor Sidney J Winawer, MD)
Correspondence to: Miroslav Zavoral, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Chief, Clinic of Medicine, Central Military Hospital, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, U vojenske nemocnice 1200, Prague 6, CZ16902, Czech Republic. miroslav.zavoral@uvn.cz
Telephone: +420-973203061 Fax: +420-973203068
Received: October 15, 2009
Revised: November 12, 2009
Accepted: November 21, 2009
Published online: December 21, 2009

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most frequent malignant disease in Europe. Every year, 412 000 people are diagnosed with this condition, and 207 000 patients die of it. In 2003, recommendations for screening programs were issued by the Council of the European Union (EU), and these currently serve as the basis for the preparation of European guidelines for CRC screening. The manner in which CRC screening is carried out varies significantly from country to country within the EU, both in terms of organization and the screening test chosen. A screening program of one sort or another has been implemented in 19 of 27 EU countries. The most frequently applied method is testing stool for occult bleeding (fecal occult blood test, FOBT). In recent years, a screening colonoscopy has been introduced, either as the only method (Poland) or the method of choice (Germany, Czech Republic).

Keywords: Colorectal cancer, Europe, Fecal occult blood test, Screening colonoscopy, Screening programs