Colorectal Cancer Screening among Government Servants in Brunei Darussalam


Background: This study concerns uptake and results of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening of governmentservant as part of the Health Screening Program that was conducted in Brunei Darussalam in 2009. Materialsand
Methods: Government servants above the age of 40 or with family history of CRC were screened with a singlefecal occult blood test (FIT, immunohistochemistry). Among 11,576 eligible subjects, 7,360 (66.9%) returned theirspecimen. Subjects with positive family history of CRC (n=329) or polyps (n=135) were advised to attend clinicsto arrange screening. All the subjects with positive FIT (n=142, 1.9%) were referred to the endoscopy unit forcounselling for screening colonoscopy.
Results: Overall only 17.7% of eligible subjects attended for screening;54.9% (n=79/142) of positive FIT, 8.8% (n=29/329) of positive family history of CRC and none with history ofpolyps (n=0/135). Of these, only 54 patients (50.5%) agreed for colonoscopy, 52 (48.6%) declined as they wereasymptomatic, and one was not offered (0.9%) due to his very young age. On screening colonoscopy, 12.9% (n=7)had advanced lesions including a sigmoid carcinoma in situ and six advanced polyps. The other findings includednon advanced polyps (n=21), diverticular (n=11) and hemorrhoids (n=26). One patient who missed his screeningcolonoscopy appointment re-presented two years later and was diagnosed with advanced right sided CRC. Allthe advanced lesions were detected in patients with positive FIT, giving a yield of 20.5% for advanced lesionsincluding cancers in the 5.1% FIT positive subjects.
Conclusions: Our study showed screening for CRC evenwith a single FIT was effective. However, the uptake rate was poor with just over half of the patients agreeing toscreening colonoscopy. Measures to increase public awareness are important. Since one limitation of our studywas the relatively small sample size, larger studies should be conduced in future.