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Screenings for intestinal cancer begin in Tampere and Orivesi in April

Published 20.3.2019 15.26

Screenings for intestinal cancer will begin in Tampere in April. The screenings are part of a nation-wide trial by the Finnish Cancer Registry. After Tampere, intestinal cancer screening trials will commence in five other municipalities or federations of municipalities.

Male and female residents of Tampere and Orivesi aged 60, 62, 64 or 66 will be invited to be screened. They will receive a sample container with instructions in the mail. The screening only requires one stool sample, which the customer takes at home and sends to the laboratory for examination. The sample is examined for traces of blood. The customer is notified of the results. If blood is found in the sample, they receive further instructions on how to proceed.

The trial will later be expanded, with residents between the ages of 60 and 74 being screened every two years.

The purpose of the screenings is to diagnose intestinal cancer or its precursor, adenoma, at as early a stage as possible. Any adenomas detected in the screenings can be removed through an endoscopy before they develop into cancerous tumours.

Intestinal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in Finland after prostate cancer and breast cancer. Every year, approximately 3,200 Finnish men and women develop it. The number of patients is estimated to go up in the upcoming years, primarily due to the rising age of the population, but also because of life style factors.

This is not the first time intestinal cancers have been screened for in Tampere. The test being trialed now is easier and more sophisticated than previous ones, as it only detects human blood and does not require more than one sample.