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Comparative effectiveness research: one-off sigmoidoscopy or iFOBT screening

46 months
Approved budget:
Associate Professor Brian Cox
Health issue:
Cancer (oncology)
Proposal type:
Health Delivery Project
Lay summary
Two quite different but proven methods of screening to reduce the burden of bowel cancer (colorectal cancer) are available. One-off flexible sigmoidoscopy (FS) at 55-64 years of age has been shown to reduce bowel cancer incidence and mortality while immunochemical faecal occult blood testing (iFOBT) 2-yearly at 50-74 years of age has been shown to reduce only bowel cancer mortality and to a lesser extent than FS screening. Both methods of screening place major demands on health services and this research will assess whether FS screening alone or FS screening after iFOBT screening has started is the best approach to reducing the burden of colorectal cancer (CRC) in New Zealand. The project also involves asking New Zealanders about their preference between one-off FS or 2-yearly iFOBT screening and the reasons behind their choice.