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Emerging role for colorectal cancer screening in Asian countries
Anil John,1,2 Saad Al Kaabi,1 Nazeeh Dweik,1 Rafie Yakoub,1 Anjum John,3 Muneera Al Mohannadi,1 Manik Sharma,1 Hamid Wani,1 MT Butt,1 MF Derbala,1 Kakil Rasul,4 Durraiya Al Qahtani,5 Mona Taher,5 Hayam Al Sada,5 Jamal Suleiman,5 Issa Ghanem,5 Farida Abdulla5
Department of Gastroenterology,1
Hamad General Hospital,
Weill Cornell Medical College,2
Medical Research Center, Hamad
Medical Corporation,3
Department of Oncology, NCCCR,4
Family Medicine, Primary Health
Care Corporation,5
Doha, Qatar

Corresponding Author
: Dr. Anil John


Background and aim: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer related mortality globally. Though Asia has traditionally been considered a relatively low incidence area for colorectal cancer, the incidence is reportedly increasing. The Asia Pacific Working Group for Colorectal Cancer has recommended screening of individuals at average risk starting from 50 years of age. Based on these recommendations we conducted a pilot study to assess the need and feasibility of a colorectal cancer screening program in the state of Qatar. Methods and results: We screened 1385 individuals by fecal immunochemical testing for occult blood, at the primary health center level and positive cases were referred for colonoscopy. Among those who tested positive for fecal occult blood, we picked up five patients with cancers and seven with neolastic polyps.

Conclusion: Our results compare with the yield of screening programs in western countries thus suggesting an emerging role for colorectal cancer screening in Asian countries.