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Population Screening Act: study into personalised colorectal cancer

Since 2014, the Netherlands has had a population screening programme for colorectal cancer in which people aged 55 to 75 years receive an invitation to be screened every two years. The screening involves an examination of the faeces for traces of blood (haemoglobin), as this could be an indication of (an early stage of) colorectal cancer. Erasmus MC has applied for a permit to conduct a scientific study that aims to improve the effectiveness of the colorectal cancer screening programme by using a personalised screening interval based on faecal haemoglobin concentration in the previous screening round. Participants with a relatively high risk of developing colorectal cancer receive a new invitation after one year, those with a relatively low risk after two years and participants with a very low risk after three years. The Health Council's Committee for Population Screening has established that the study is of sound scientific quality and does not involve any major risks for the participants. The study also complies with the rules for medical practice. For these reasons, the Committee has advised the state secretary to grant the permit.