When budgets are tight, there are better options than colonoscopies for colorectal cancer screening
A critical challenge facing cancer screening programs, particularly those aimed at uninsured people with low incomes, is choosing the screening test that makes the most efficient use of limited budgets. For colorectal cancer screening, there is growing momentum to use colonoscopy, which is an expensive test. In this study, we modeled scenarios to assess whether the use of fecal occult blood tests or colonoscopy provides the most benefit under conditions of budget constraints. We found that although colonoscopy is more accurate, under most scenarios, fecal occult blood tests would result in more individuals’ getting screened, with more life-years gained.