Prof. Gadi Rennert, Director of the National Colorectal Screening Program, reports an increase in compliance with fecal occult blood tests, which currently stands at 41%, compared to last year's 36.7%.
In total, over 50% of the target population for early detection tests undergoes one of the 2 screening tests, either the fecal occult blood test or a colonoscopy exam.
According to the National Program estimate, about two thirds of the colonoscopy exams were performed as a test for high risk groups.
The implementation rate of early detection tests for colorectal cancer in Israel is still relatively low; however, it is similar to the percentage reported by other Western countries which also have begun to implement a population-based screening.
The national screening program has led to increased rates of detection and has also contributed to a decline in mortality rates.
Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 2013 was marked by the ICA and the Ministry of Health with new and encouraging data published by the National Cancer Registry and the National Center for Disease Control of the Ministry of Health, under the direction of Dr. Lital Keinan-Boker, Ms. Irena Lifshitz, Ms. Yehudit Fishler, and Ms. Rita Dichtiar:
Over the past two decades, colorectal cancer incidence (invasive tumors) rates have dropped by 17% among Jewish men, and a 13% decrease was observed among Jewish women. Among the Arab population, an increase in incidence rates and a trend towards stability were noted over the past five years.
For those diagnosed from 2003-2008, relative survival rates increased, compared to those diagnosed from 1993-1997 (67% in men and 68% in women, compared to 57% in men and women).
Early stage diagnosis of the disease has nearly doubled (from 18% to 34%) over the past twenty years, as a result of the increase in compliance with the National Colorectal Cancer Screening Program, jointly initiated by the Israel Cancer Association and the Ministry of Health.
Mortality rates have dropped by 17% in males and by 11.4% in females. Among the Arab population, there has been an increase in mortality rates, and a trend toward stabilization has been noted over the past five years.
Colorectal cancer incidence rates in Israel were compared to those of 20 countries with the highest incidence rates worldwide, through the Globocan database of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), for 2008. The statistics show that Israel ranks fourth in colorectal cancer incidence rates worldwide, and has the 15th highest morality rate in the world, tying with Germany.