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Free bowel cancer screening


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Piloted in 23 pilot departments since 2003, bowel cancer screening in persons aged between the ages of 50 and 74 will be extended to the whole of France by the end of 2008.

Conducted every two years, the screening consists of a test for blood in the stool.

Persons between the ages of 50 and 74 will be invited to visit

their GP's surgery for an assessment, which will determinate whether a test test is appropriate. The

test result is negative in 97% of cases.

In case of a positive result, the GP

would prescribed a colonoscopy to confirm or deny the presence of

anomalies in the colon or rectum.

The cost of the test and its analysis will be totally covered by the health authorities.

The disease affects up to 16 million people, men and women most frequently between the ages of 50 and 74. With 37 000 new cases per year, bowel cancer is the third

most common cancer after prostate cancer and breast cancer and the

second leading cause of cancer deaths after lung cancer.
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yes. we have had these tests.

mr polremy had a close relative who suffered colon cancer so he went straight to the coloscopie stage.

i was given a home tester kit to post off.

oh will now have colonoscopy every 5 years.

i was automatically called for another tester kit after two years.

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I'd be very surprised if a doctor said "C'est obligatoire" or "C'est obligé"...

It is in the interest of both the French health service and the health insurers to prevent health problems, but if an individual does not wish to undergo a test, he/she cannot be made to have it, nor can he/she be refused treatment or treated differently because of his/her refusal.

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They have been advertising screening for bowel cancer on French TV all last week.

Just in case anyone is squeamish : they will perform a colonoscopy almost as a matter of routine if you have any sort of persistent stomach problem. It is really quick - just into a local clinic for the day. No pain - just not very nice to have to drink all that liquid to flush out the system ! But better than an enema ! And they give you the results straight away.
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I have a family history too.  I'm 44, so under the age of the general screening.  I talked to the doctor and he booked me in at the hospital straight away - I didn't request a test.

So I would certainly go along to your doctor, explain your family history and your previous tests and results.  Your doctor will take it from there.

Good luck.



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[quote user="dr orloff"]Clair, I can understand french perfectly thank you.[/quote]

I don't doubt it for a minute...

You're suggesting that screening tests may be compulsory should there be a family history of illness. I'm explaining they're not.

Sorry, I was interrupted earlier.

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As someone who has a colonoscopy every few years as I have Crohn's, I would like to reassure those who have not had this done before that it is nothing to worry about. No pain as done usually under a general anaesthetic and only a very small risk of perforation for most people. Had really bad experiences in the U.K. as usually done with little or no anaesthesia there so I would rather have it done here in France............Could be a life saver if you do have a problem....................JR
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Amen to JR's comment on UK experiences of these!

Sedation for first was OK, but subsequent ones in a different hospital I proved immune to their sedation. First time they gave me a double dose, which had no impact until 4 hrs later, 1ast time no impact at all, but I declined the drs kind invite to watch the movie of the boat trip up my digestive canal!  He couldn't understand why, but insisted I had a photo to prove he had really been there, and suggested I could get it turned into a Truly Personal Christmas Card to send to friends this year.....  Talk about pride in your work!!

So, absolutely, it's a proven life-saver, and absolutely, I'll go to France for the next one!


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