One in Six Globally Concerned About Colorectal Cancer Screening Costs

SHENZHEN, China, May 31, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — By 2040, the burden of colorectal cancer (CRC) is projected to increase to 3.2 million new cases and 1.6 million deaths per year representing a 66% and 71% rise in new cases and deaths respectively relative to 2020.

To better address the global burden of CRC and reduce its impact, BGI Genomics has launched the second edition of its global CRC awareness report, covering 1,938 respondents from Brazil (306), China (367), Poland (300), Saudi Arabia (300), Thailand (362), and Uruguay (303):  

CRC Screening Gaps Vary Globally: Nearly half (49.3%) of global respondents have never undergone CRC screening, with the highest proportions in Saudi Arabia (62.0%) and Poland (61.0%).

Preference for Fecal Testing Over Colonoscopy: Although colonoscopies are more recognized (33.4%), fecal tests at healthcare facilities are preferred (31.8%), reflecting a trend towards non-invasive methods.

Cost and Fear are Determinants of Screening Choice: Fear of colonoscopy (18.2%) and screening costs (17.7%) are major barriers to CRC screening. Poland (24.7%) and Uruguay (21.0%) show the highest fear of colonoscopy, while Thailand (24.5%) and Brazil (20%) indicate the most concern about costs.

Medical Advice and Family History Drive CRC Screening: Doctor’s recommendations are a major driver for CRC screening (30.5% globally), with Uruguay showing the highest adherence (44.1%). Additionally, those with a family history of CRC are more proactive in screening (64.5%), compared to the general population (35.0%).

Prof. Varut Lohsiriwat from Mahidol University offers his insights to this report. He suggested: “The essence of effective cancer screening lies in the acceptance and adherence of the patient to the screening method. The best screening method is the one that the patient accepts and adheres to because that’s the method that will actually benefit them.”

Dr. Zhu Shida, BGI Genomics Deputy GM, notes: “At BGI Genomics, we focused our efforts on developing advanced molecular biology testing techniques to close the gap [between acceptance and accessibility]. The ultimate goal is to transform colorectal cancer from a life-threatening disease into a manageable condition through widespread, early screening and intervention.”

For more region-level comparisons, access the full BGI Genomics 2024 State of CRC Awareness Report.

All data involved in this report come from the results of an online survey project conducted by BGI Genomics. It only surveys awareness related to colorectal cancer and does not involve personally identifiable data.

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