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Cancer. 1993 Jan 1;71(1):216-8.

Screening of esophageal and gastric cancer by occult blood bead detector.

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Department of Cancer Prevention and Detection, Cancer Institute (Hospital), Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing.


A previously described bead method used to detect blood is simple, cheap, and effective; it can be repeated periodically. In 11 provinces in China, 233,825 persons (age range, 30-70 years) were screened. A positive occult blood test result was found in 28,557 persons (12%). Of these, 16,918 underwent a gastroscopy, resulting in the detection of 581 cancers that were located in similar frequencies in the esophagus, gastric cardia, and gastric body; 70% of the lesions were in an early or moderately advanced stage. Among 119 patients with early-stage cancer, the 3-year survival rate was 98.3%. After preliminary screening of cancer, the 4-year follow-up found a mortality rate in the group with negative occult blood test results that was only 25% of that of the positive group. Preliminary yearly screening would detect more early cancers and fewer advanced cancers. The mortality rate of esophageal and gastric cancer might be reduced drastically.

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