lagging behind in France

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Written by Doug Hampton

The weekly epidemiological bulletin of Public Health France points to a big delay in reaching the European rate of 70%.

This July 11, two studies published by Public Health France (SpF) point to a low participation in France of breast and colorectal cancer screenings.

Faced with the most common and deadliest cancer for French women, the latter aged 50 to 74 are offered, every two years, a clinical breast examination and a mammogram. When the first image is normal, an expert analyzes it again, and if the image is suspicious, a diagnostic report is established.

A European target of 70% far from being reached

Only, notes a study published in the weekly epidemiological bulletin of SpF, “France is struggling to achieve (the) objective” European minimum of 70% participation in screening.

It is around 50% and has been decreasing for 10 years with the consequences of the Covid pandemic. In addition to the effects of the latter on access to care, it is “also possible that the underlying downward trend in screening will continue”. For what reasons ? According to the authors of a specific study, the “doubt about the usefulness of screening”there “consequence of less attractiveness”there “medical desertification”

Colorectal cancer screening around 32%

With regard to colorectal cancer, which is the second cause of death by cancer in France, screening is based on a test to detect occult blood in the stool.

It is offered every two years to French people aged 50-74 and since the generalization of the program, “the participation rate is low, around 32%”points out another study.

And the researchers also note that if participation rates in colorectal cancer screening do not ultimately seem “not have dropped significantly during the pandemic”they “remain too low compared to European recommendations”.

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