J Korean Soc Coloproctol.  2007 Oct;23(5):321-326.

Characteristics of Colorectal Cancer Detected at the Health Promotion Center

  • 1Colorectal Clinic, Department of Surgery, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. csyu@amc.seoul.kr


PURPOSE: Colorectal cancer is regarded as preventable with routine checkups. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of each test performed during routine checkups and to assess the clinicopathological characteristics of colorectal cancer detected at the Health Promotion Center (HPC).
We recruited 120 colorectal cancer patients identified on routine checkup at the HPC. The control group was composed of 3,829 colorectal cancer patients who underwent surgery during the same period. Clinicopathological variables were compared using the chi-square test.
The male-to-female ratio was 79:41; the mean age was 57.9 (30~78) years. The incidence of right colon cancer was 16.7%, and that of left colon cancer was 83.7%. Sigmoidoscopy (55.5%), colonoscopy (28.3%), and fecal occult blood tests (FOBT, 10.8%) were used for detecting colorectal cancer. The overall positive rates of FOBT and serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) were 28.3% and 20.8%, respectively, but were higher in advanced colon cancer (49.0% and 31.4%) and right colon cancer (60% and 25%). Early colorectal cancer was more frequent in the study group (54.9%) than in the control group (16.9%, P<0.001). Right colon cancer was significantly associated with advanced colon cancer (80%), and left colon cancer was associated with early colon cancer (62.3%, P=0.001).
Endoscopy, including sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy, played a crucial role in detecting early colorectal cancer at the HPC. Including endoscopy in basic routine checkup programs should help to increase early detection of colorectal cancer.


Colorectal cancer; Screening test; Colonoscopy
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