Cost-Effectiveness of Colorectal Cancer Screening Protocols in Urban Chinese Populations Academic Article uri icon


  • Colorectal cancer (CRC) takes a second and fourth position in the incidence and mortality lists respectively among all malignant tumors in urban populations in China. This study was designed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of two different CRC screening protocols: faecal occult blood test (FOBT) alone, and FOBT plus a high-risk factor questionnaire (HRFQ) as the respective initial screens, followed by colonoscopy. We developed a Markov model to simulate the progression of a cohort of 100,000 average risk asymptomatic individuals moving through a defined series of states between the ages of 40 to 74 years. The parameters used for the modeling came from the CESP (Comparison and Evaluation of Screening Programs for Colorectal Cancer in Urban Communities in China) study and published literature. Eight CRC screening scenarios were tested in the Markov model. The cost-effectiveness of CRC screening under each scenario was measured by an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) compared with a scenario without CRC screening. The study revealed that a combined use of FOBT and HRFQ is preferable in CRC screening programs as an initial screening instrument. Annual FOBT+HRFQ screening is recommended for those who have a negative initial result and those who have a positive result but have failed to continue to colonoscopic examination. Repeated colonoscopy (for those with a positive result in initial screening but a negative colonoscopy result) should be performed at a ten-year interval instead of one-year. Such a protocol would cost 7732 Yuan per life year saved, which is the most cost-effective option. In conclusion, the current Chinese Trial Version for CRC Screening Strategy should be revised in line with the most cost-effective protocol identified in this study.

publication date

  • 2014