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Colorectal cancer screening: surely FIT for us too
  1. Ethna McFerran,
  2. Frank Kee,
  3. Helen G Coleman
  1. Centre for Public Health, Queen’s University Belfast Centre for Public Health, Belfast, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ethna McFerran, Queen’s University Belfast Centre for Public Health, Queens University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK; e.mcferran{at}

Statistics from

A dwindling minority of countries now offer guaiac-based colorectal cancer (CRC) screening tests (including Croatia, Finland, Greece and Hungary) since, for over a decade, faecal immunochemical testing (FIT) has been shown to be more effective.1 FIT detects more positive results compared with guaiac-based tests with fewer false negatives and for participants is a more acceptable test.

In Northern Ireland, 3 years on from when the UK National Screening Committee (UKNSC) recommended a move to FIT (in January 2016), no decision to support its implementation has been approved. The inequity is unacceptable, as UKNSC published economic evidence showing FIT implementation would improve outcomes with cost savings.2

Transition to FIT in England and Wales continues with additional plans …

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  • Contributors HGC and EMF: made substantial contributions to the planning of the work. HGC, EMF and FK: took part in writing the report /manuscript and have approved the version to be published.

  • Funding EMF is funded through a post-doctoral grant from Cancer Focus Northern Ireland. HGC holds a Cancer Research UK-funded Career Establishment Award.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement We are happy to provide further information on the information used in this piece.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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