Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First


Professor Callum G. Fraser

Professor Callum G Fraser has worked in laboratory medicine in Scotland and Australia for 45 years. He has published 2 books, 12 book chapters and well over 300 papers, editorials and reviews. He has been involved with bowel screening since 1998, is Consultant to the Scottish Bowel Screening Research Unit, and is a Founding Member of the Expert Working Group on FIT for Screening, WEO.

Paper of the Year 2019: Professor Callum Fraser

We asked our SCPN team and friends what they thought was the most interesting paper that had come across their desks this year. Professor Callum G Fraser, Senior Research Fellow, University of Dundee and Founding Member of the Expert Working Group on FIT for Screening, CRCSC, World Endoscopy Organization has chosen his paper of 2019 which discusses the important topic of the increasing incidence for colorectal cancer in young adults.

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FIT – Vigilance is Needed to Ensure Validity

To all those using, or planning to use, faecal immunochemical tests for haemoglobin (FIT) in bowel cancer screening programmes, there was some disturbing news last week. In British Columbia (BC), Canada, use of FIT ceased due to a problem with a reagent used in analysis of the samples. On the official website, it is stated that work to resolve this as quickly as possible is underway and the organisers will have a better idea of timing in the next few weeks: however, it could take a number of months for FIT analyses to resume. The details and consequences are very well documented.

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Finally, the FIT Revolution is Here

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, which again offers us the opportunity to further publicise all aspects of bowel cancer screening, diagnosis and prevention. It is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer. However, if detected early, this cancer is eminently treatable and curable and almost all people diagnosed at the earliest stages will survive.

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FIT – ONE Test – but TWO Very Different Applications

I am 71 years old and have enjoyed reasonably good health all my life, although osteoarthritis of the knees and cataracts are now two of the joys of growing older. I have taken part in the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme every two years since the first pilot back in 2000. These are facts. The following story is fictional, but the scenario is likely to become a real conundrum for many in the not too distant future.

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Improving Referral for Colonoscopy

On the 7th June 2016, the Westminster Government approved the recommendation of the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) to replace the current test used in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BSCP) in England with a newer test, the Faecal Immunochemical Test for haemoglobin (FIT). The Scottish Government had already announced the change from the traditional guaiac-based faecal occult blood test (gFOBT) to FIT on 18th February 2015. The rationale for these advances have been very well documented, as have the many advantages of FIT over gFOBT.

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Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – Patients with Symptoms Should Get FIT

As part of Bowel Cancer Awareness month, we’re running a series of mini-blogs from bowel screening experts from the University of Dundee’s Centre for Research into Cancer Prevention and Screening. Here’s the first instalment, from Professor Callum G. Fraser.

I would like the wider public to be made much more aware of faecal immunochemical tests for haemoglobin (FIT).  FIT, which are easy for patients with symptoms to do using single-sample hygienic collection devices, provide inexpensive means to decide whether they have serious colorectal disease or not.

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Bowel Screening Does Exactly What It Says on the Tin.

One of the fundamental principles underpinning the establishment of bowel cancer screening programmes for people with no symptoms is that early disease is detected. Treatment is then more effective, cure is often complete and survival is much enhanced. Significant evidence supports this thesis. It has been widely shown that more than half of all bowel cancers detected through screening programmes are early stage.

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Papers of the Year: Suspected Cancer – Recognition and Referral

This month SCPN has invited regular SCPN newsletter contributors to tell us about what they have been reading on cancer prevention during 2015. We asked for one paper they thought valuable to share. Professor Callum Fraser has contributed a NICE guideline for your enjoyment.

Title: Suspected cancer: recognition and referral

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Making Sense of Screening

The media continues to draw considerable attention to individual cases where screening has either been unavailable (e.g. young people with colorectal cancer) or unsuccessful (e.g. cases of colorectal cancer occurring where the screening test has been negative). In addition, there are constant pleas, requests and demands from a number of high-profile individuals and the many charities involved in screening to both broaden the spectrum of programmes available and expand the age range of those invited to participate in currently available programmes.

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