World Colon and Rectal Cancer Day

Early detection of colon and rectal cancer through the screening program can reduce mortality from this cancer by 30%

Early detection of colon and rectal cancer through the screening program can reduce mortality from this cancer by 30% 1000 750 Parc Taulí current affairs

Colon and rectal cancer is the second most common cancer in Catalonia, both in women (after breast cancer) and in men (after prostate cancer), and represents the second cause of death from cancer.

Given its importance and its impact, the professionals at Parc Taulí call for the participation of the screening program to detect this disease in its earliest stages, because it is a type of cancer that is often silent and when the symptoms begin, it is already can find in an advanced stage.

In 2015, the colon and rectal cancer screening program was launched in Vallès Occidental. Since then, 513 people have been diagnosed with cancer, of which 71% were in the early stages.

In the fourth round of the screening program (2022-2023), 227.717 people aged between 50 and 69 from all over Vallès Occidental have been invited to participate in the Program. However, only 43% of the invited people participated, a turnout almost two points lower than in the previous round. Of the people who participate, in 4% the test is positive (blood is found in the stool) and a colonoscopy is indicated.

During the year 2023, a screening colonoscopy was performed on 1.999 people throughout Vallès Occidental, which made it possible to detect 62 people with invasive cancer and 1.315 people with colorectal polyps that were removed, thus minimizing the risk that they can malign and develop cancer in the future.

Faced with these figures, the coordinator of the Cancer Screening Office, Dra. Anna Selva has called for participation in the screening program, recalling that "the screening program can not only reduce mortality from colon and rectal cancer by detecting cancer in early stages but can also reduce its incidence by detecting and removing polyps, preventing them from becoming malignant". "We are concerned that more than half of the population is not benefiting from this preventive program. For this reason, we are putting a lot of effort into spreading the word and making the program known to the population."

In Vallès Occidental, the Program is coordinated from the Screening Office of Vallès Occidental, located in Parc Taulí, and works with the three reference hospitals in the region (Hospital Parc Taulí, Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa and Hospital Mútua de Terrassa ) which is where colonoscopies are performed. Also with pharmacy offices and primary care centers, which is where the injuries diagnosed through the Screening Program are monitored. The Parc Taulí laboratory is the reference laboratory for Vallès Occidental and Bages, where samples from people who have participated in the Screening Program are sent and analyzed.


How to participate in the Screening Program?

The program is aimed at women and men between 50 and 69 years of age. First, people will receive a letter at home, explaining the program and informing them of how to participate. The order of invitation is by basic areas of health, and the calendar can be consulted at

People must then take the letter to a partner pharmacy, where they will be given a free kit to collect a stool sample that they must return to the pharmacy.

The pharmacies send the samples to be analyzed at the Parc Taulí laboratory. If the test is negative, the participant is notified of the result by letter. If the test is positive people are called to make an appointment with the screening nurse at their respective referring hospital, where preparation for a colonoscopy with sedation to explore the inside the gut.

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