Randomized comparative trials have shown that screening can reduce the mortality from colorectal cancer. However, due to difficulties of implementation, as observed in various countries, the expected benefits might not be achieved. The Committee recommends that the following conditions be met prior to implementing a provincial program:
Accessibility to colonoscopic examinations should be governed by the implementation of clinical, quality and performance standards that will be applied to all clienteles in all services offering this examination in Québec.
Individuals with a high risk of colorectal cancer, primarily those identified by a family history of colorectal cancer, should be so informed, and they should have access to screening that corresponds to their specific risk.
A demonstration project to show the feasibility of a program targeting average-risk individuals should be carried out before implementing a program at the provincial level.