2012 National Program for Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer Statistics
The Ministry of Health responded in the affirmative to ICA's initiative, and over the past eight years, has implemented the National Program for the Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer in conjunction with all local healthcare funds.
This program, monitored by Prof. Gad Rennert, resembles the National Program for Early Detection of Breast Cancer in women, and its necessity is evidenced by the high colorectal cancer mortality rates.
This is a preventable disease, and its early detection may significantly increase chances for a cure and recovery.
As part of this program, conducted by the healthcare funds, every individual over the age of 50 is summoned to undergo a fecal occult blood test. Patients at high risk are entitled to a colonoscopy exam, according to their attending physician's recommendation.
ICA's National Program activity is accompanied by an extensive public information campaign via the media, mainly in March, which marks Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
Statistics related to Screening Adherence for Fecal Occult Blood Tests as part of the 2012 National Program for the Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer - only half the target population undergoes the fecal occult blood test:
Prof. Gadi Rennert, Director of the National Colorectal Screening Program, reports an increase in compliance with fecal occult blood tests, which currently stands at 41%, compared to last year's 36.7%.
In total, over 50% of the target population for early detection tests undergoes one of the 2 screening tests, either the fecal occult blood test or a colonoscopy exam.
According to the National Program estimate, about two thirds of the colonoscopy exams were performed as a test for high risk groups.
The implementation rate of early detection tests for colorectal cancer in Israel is still relatively low; however, it is similar to the percentage reported by other Western countries which also have begun to implement a population-based screening.
The national screening program has led to increased rates of detection and has also contributed to a decline in mortality rates.
Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 2013 was marked by the ICA and the Ministry of Health with new and encouraging data published by the National Cancer Registry and the National Center for Disease Control of the Ministry of Health, under the direction of Dr. Lital Keinan-Boker, Ms. Irena Lifshitz, Ms. Yehudit Fishler, and Ms. Rita Dichtiar:
Over the past two decades, colorectal cancer incidence (invasive tumors) rates have dropped by 17% among Jewish men, and a 13% decrease was observed among Jewish women. Among the Arab population, an increase in incidence rates and a trend towards stability were noted over the past five years.
For those diagnosed from 2003-2008, relative survival rates increased, compared to those diagnosed from 1993-1997 (67% in men and 68% in women, compared to 57% in men and women).
Early stage diagnosis of the disease has nearly doubled (from 18% to 34%) over the past twenty years, as a result of the increase in compliance with the National Colorectal Cancer Screening Program, jointly initiated by the Israel Cancer Association and the Ministry of Health.
Mortality rates have dropped by 17% in males and by 11.4% in females. Among the Arab population, there has been an increase in mortality rates, and a trend toward stabilization has been noted over the past five years.
Colorectal cancer incidence rates in Israel were compared to those of 20 countries with the highest incidence rates worldwide, through the Globocan database of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), for 2008. The statistics show that Israel ranks fourth in colorectal cancer incidence rates worldwide, and has the 15th highest morality rate in the world, tying with Germany.
For over a decade, the ICA has adopted World Health Organization and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) guidelines regarding the importance of screening populations at high risk for colorectal cancer.
This education program focuses on the general public within the community and in the workplace.
Aiming to promote early detection awareness and raise the test compliance rate, the ICA annually finances two years of targeted activity at centers that have demonstrated outstanding work in screening programs for high-risk populations, while conducting training activity for professional staff and educational programs for the general public.