Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme

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About stool specimen collection

1.  What happens if I lose/break one of the FOBT tubes?

Experience from screening programmes of different countries show that FOBT screening carried out using one stool specimen is also possible. So if you lose/break one of the two FOBT tubes, you should still carry out stool specimen collection for the remaining FOBT tube and return it to a Specimen Collection Point within 4 days of its collection.

2.  What happens if I lose/break both FOBT tubes?

You should contact your PCD for the re-issuing of FOBT tubes. You will not be charged by the PCD for the re-issue of FOBT tubes, as this will be subsidised by the Government.

You will only be given a maximum of four FOBT tubes during each screening round (i.e. 2 years).

3.  What if I only manage to collect one stool specimen within 4 days (counting from the first day of stool specimen collection)?

If you only manage to collect one stool specimen within 4 days, you should still return the single specimen to the Specimen Collection Point. Your specimen will be analysed and the result is informative if it has been collected correctly.

4.  I have haemorrhoids (piles), can I still carry out FOBT screening?

As long as there is no active bleeding from the haemorrhoids, you may still carry out FOBT screening as appropriate.

You should seek prompt medical advice if you notice active bleeding of the haemorrhoids.

About results

1.  The result of my FOBT screening is positive, do I have colorectal cancer?

A positive FOBT result means that blood is detected in your stool. This can be due to a number of other conditions apart from colorectal cancer. You should discuss with your doctor regarding further investigations to look for the cause of the bleeding.

2.  The result of my FOBT screening is negative, when will I need to repeat FOBT screening?

Under current guidelines, you are recommended to repeat FOBT screening every 2 years.

Remember that no screening test is 100% accurate, so you should continue to watch out for symptoms of colorectal cancer and seek prompt medical attention if you have any concern.

3.  My doctor told me that my FOBT specimen has been “rejected”, what does it mean?

Common situations where your FOBT specimens may be rejected by the laboratory include:
  1. Missing or mismatching of information on the laboratory request form and the FOBT tubes.
  2. FOBT tubes without your full name or specimen collection date clearly written.
  3. Heavily soiled FOBT tubes.
  4. Damaged FOBT tubes.
  5. FOBT specimens submitted after 4 days from the first day of stool specimen collection.
  6. FOBT specimens submitted beyond 8 weeks from the date of issue (when you received the FOBT tubes from your PCD).
If both FOBT specimens are rejected, your PCD will contact you to schedule another appointment for the re-issue of another pair of FOBT tubes.

About colonoscopy examination

1.  What happens if the colonoscopy examination was unsuccessful?

If the colonoscopy examination was unsuccessful, for example due to inadequate bowel preparation, your CS will discuss with you about management options and may either repeat the colonoscopy examination without charging or refer you for a computed tomographic colonography (CT colonography).

2.  What is CT colonography?

CT colonography involves using a CT scanner to produce images of the inside of your large bowel in order to detect polyps or cancer. CT colonography is often reserved for people who are unsuitable for colonoscopy examination.

You should prepare for CT colonography according to the instructions given by your CS.

About payment

1.  Can I use Health Care Voucher in settling the co-payment?

Health Care Voucher cannot be used to settle the co-payment.

2.  Being a civil service eligible person, I have participated in the Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme and paid medical expenses on top of the government subsidy. Could I claim reimbursement for the relevant expenses?

Please refer to the Civil Service Bureau webpage.

About withdrawing from the eHRSS

1.  I plan to withdraw from the eHRSS, will this affect my status as a participant under the Programme?

As the computer system of the Programme is a platform built under the eHRSS, by withdrawing from the eHRSS, you will automatically be withdrawing from the Programme. Your PCD and CS will no longer be able to view your records and provide clinical care. You will be at risk of missing significant screening results.