Background & Aims: European guidelines recommend screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) using the fecal immunochemical test (FIT), with follow-up colonoscopies for individuals with positive test results. However, more than half of participants with positive results from the FIT are not found to have advanced neoplasia in the colonoscopy examination. Fecal occult blood might also come from the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, so perhaps we should consider esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), to detect upper GI cancers. We aimed to determine how many individuals are found to have oral or upper GI cancers (oral cavity, throat, esophageal, gastric, or small bowel cancer) within 3 years after a positive or negative result from a FIT in a CRC screening program. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of data from a pilot study of 3 rounds of biennial FIT-based screening for CRC in 2 regions in the west of the Netherlands, from 2006 through October 2012. Participants who developed oral or upper GI cancers were identified through linkage with the National Cancer Registry. We classified these cancers into 3 groups: those that developed in individuals with a positive result from a FIT but negative findings from colonoscopy (no advanced neoplasia), those that developed in individuals with a positive result from a FIT and a positive finding from colonoscopy (advanced neoplasia), and those that developed in individuals with negative results from a FIT. We compared oral and upper GI cancer incidence among groups. Results: Among 16,165 screening participants, linkage identified 52 persons who developed an oral or upper GI cancer within 3 years after a FIT. We found no significant difference in incidence values between individuals with a positive vs a negative FIT result: 8 cancers developed in individuals with a positive result from a FIT (0.37%; 95% CI, 0.19–0.76) and 44 developed in individuals with a negative result from a FIT (0.31%; 95% CI, 0.23–0.42) (P =.65). Of the 8 individuals with a positive result from a FIT and an oral or upper GI cancer, 6 were diagnosed after negative findings from colonoscopy and 2 after positive findings from colonoscopy. We found that only 0.14% of all persons with a positive result from a FIT were diagnosed with a gastric or esophageal cancer within 3 years. Conclusion: In a study of individuals in the Netherlands undergoing screening for CRC by FIT, we found fewer than 1% of patients with a positive result from the FIT to receive a diagnosis of upper GI cancers within 3 years. Routine EGD investigation of individuals with positive results from a FIT and negative findings from colonoscopy is therefore not recommended. TrialRegister.nl, Number: NTR5385.

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Keywords Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, FOBT, Gastric cancer, gFOBT, Tumor
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2018.01.037, hdl.handle.net/1765/109100
Journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
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Citation
van der Vlugt, M. (Manon), Grobbee, E.J. (Esmée J.), Bossuyt, P.M.M, Bos, A.C.R.K, Kuipers, E.J. (Ernst J.), Lansdorp-Vogelaar, I, … Dekker, E. (2018). Risk of Oral and Upper Gastrointestinal Cancers in Persons With Positive Results From a Fecal Immunochemical Test in a Colorectal Cancer Screening Program. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2018.01.037