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Screening, awareness and challenges for colorectal cancer treatment in Saudi Arabia: an update



Samer Mohammed Hassan Alqarni1, Mohammed Saad Alamri1, Peter Natesan Pushparaj2, Irfan Rather1, Zafar Iqbal3, Muhammad Asif4 & Mahmood Rasool2,*



1Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; 2Center of Excellence in Genomic Medicine Research, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; 3King Saud Bin Abdul Aziz University, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia; 4Department of Biotechnology, & ORIC, Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering & Management Sciences, Quetta, Pakistan; *Corresponding author



Samer Mohammed Hassan Alqarni- E-mail: samer.bio@hotmail.com

Mohammed Saad Alamri- E-mail: mohammed.alamrii339@gmail.com

Peter Natesan Pushparaj- E-mail: pnatesan@kau.edu.sa

Irfan Rather- E-mail: erfaan21@gmail.com

Zafar Iqbal- E-mail: iqbalz@ksau-hs.edu.sa

Muhammad Asif- E-mail: asif@buitms.edu.pk

Mahmood Rasool- E-mail: mrahmed1@kau.edu.sa & mahmoodrasool@yahoo.com


Article Type

Research Article



Received April 1, 2024; Revised April 30, 2024; Accepted April 30, 2024, Published April 30, 2024



Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cancer in the world. In Saudi Arabia, CRC is the most common cancer in males and the third most common in females, and its incidence rate is rising as the country continues to develop. However, the country does not have a national CRC screening program for CRC. This review aims to review recent studies that have attempted to address and rectify this issue and discern the most notable and prevalent barriers. Despite these efforts, guidelines are still lacking. Two prospective studies have been conducted in recent years, one of which was a national pilot screening program conducted by the Ministry of Health (MOH). While both had a similar number of participants, the colonoscopy rate for patients with a positive fecal immunochemical test (FIT) in the MOH program was only 20% compared to 75.8% in the Al-Kharj program. Awareness of the Saudi population regarding CRC and its screening appears to be insufficient. The most common barriers to patients' willingness to undergo screening were embarrassment, fear, and pain. Barriers to physicians are mostly related to factors outside their hands, such as lack of equipment and time. We conclude that efforts should be made to establish a national screening program and improve awareness of the population and physicians.



Colorectal Cancer, Screening, Fecal Immunochemical Test, Treatment, Barriers, Incidents



Hassan et al. Bioinformation 20(4): 397-403 (2024)


Edited by

P Kangueane






Biomedical Informatics



This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. This is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.