What impact did BC’s colorectal cancer screening program have on diagnosis and treatment?

Date posted: 
Wednesday, November 7, 2018


Colorectal cancer (CRC), the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada, is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality and a substantial financial burden on the healthcare system.

BC Cancer’s provincial Colon Screening Program (BCCSP) was implemented in 2012 based on best practice CRC guidelines. From November 2013 to November 2014, the BCCSP screened approximately 200,000 patients leading to around 20,000 colonoscopies within the BCCSP. Out of those screened, 438 were diagnosed with CRC.

It is well established that CRC screening, no matter what strategy is used, reduces mortality. However, few studies have looked at the impact of a comprehensive, province-wide, colorectal screening program on patient outcomes, and even fewer studies have used real-world Canadian data to do this.

BC Cancer Medical Oncology Fellow, Dr. Dan Le, aims to change this though a recently approved retrospective cohort analysis using BC Cancer Registry data.

“The study will compare CRC patients diagnosed by the BCCSP with those who were not diagnosed via the BCCSP,” says Dr. Le. “Our primary hypothesis is that a province-wide colon cancer screening program identifies patients at an earlier stage compared to an opportunistic colon cancer screening approach. Our secondary hypothesis is that a province-wide colon cancer screening program leads to improved 3-year disease free survival.”

PopData will link 5 data sets from the BC Ministry of Health with BC Cancer data for the project.


Page last revised: November 15, 2018