The aim of the study was to assess the feasibility of and possible selection to attend in colorectal cancer screening.
During the years 1979-1980, 1 785 men and women (born in 1917-1929) were invited to a pilot screening project for colorectal cancer. The screening method used was a guaiac-based faecal occult blood test repeated once if the initial test was positive.
Compliance was 69% and the test was positive in 19% of those attending. In a record linkage with the Finnish Cancer Registry, 47 colorectal cancer cases and 24 deaths from colorectal cancer were observed by the end of 2004. In all, the particular test method was not regarded specific enough for population screening. There was, however, no difference in cancer incidence between those who complied and those who did not when compared to the general population of same age and gender.
Compliance was found high enough to make screening feasible and there was no self selection of persons with low cancer risk to attend screening.