In Europe, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the most prevalent of all tumours, with 471,000 new cases diagnosed per year and second only to lung cancer in terms of deaths. Yet studies show that it is possible to significantly reduce mortality when one adopts population-based CRC screening programmes.
In 2010, a European Parliament resolution called for the adoption of primary prevention and early diagnosis through screening. Some European member states have already started population-based screening programmes, either on a national or regional scale. Others are still assessing and defining strategies for implementation of CRC screening programs or already in the pilot phase. Population between the ages of 50 and 74 are often eligible and invited to participate in CRC screening programs to detect bowel cancer early on.
Due to its simplicity and proven superior performance, the quantitative faecal immunochemical test, or FIT, is currently considered the best, non-invasive Faecal Occult Blood (FOB) test for Screening.