During a four year period, 140 000 women and men 50-74 years old will be drawn by randomization from the Central Population Register and invited to participate.
Those drawn for flexible sigmoidoscopy will have one screening round and those for hidden (occult) blood will have at least two rounds. During these four years it will be decided if the pilot project shall be extended to larger parts of the population and how this will be done.
We expect that about 5 per cent of those tested with either the one or the other method, will be recommended telescopic examination of the whole colon (colonoscopy) – not only the lower part, which is examined by flexible sigmoidoscopy.
It will take time to build up a screening programme. All those who show a positive screening test will be recommended a full colonoscopy. There is too little colonoscopy capacity in Norway. Therefore, it will take time to train medical personnel, which the screening program is completely dependant on, in this and related fields, e.g. pathology specialists.
Screening is first and foremost for those who do not have symptoms. If you have symptoms originating from the colon, lasting longer than 4-6 weeks, you should contact your doctor and not wait to see if you get an invitation for the screening project.