Blue March: a month dedicated to colorectal cancer prevention and screening

March, known as Blue March, is a month dedicated to colorectal cancer prevention and screening. Approximately 220,000 people in Europe are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year, and the number is increasing. In Luxembourg, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths, but if detected early, it can be cured in 9 out of 10 cases. Screening therefore plays an essential role.

Increasing participation in the National Colorectal Screening Programme to combat the disease more effectively

Luxembourg has had an National Colorectal Screening Programme (PDOCCR) for three years, managed by the Health Directorate's Cancer Screening Programme Coordination Centre.

Since then, about 200,000 invitations have been sent out. Participation in organised screening is still relatively low (currently about 34% of tests are carried out following an invitation), but has increased steadily since the programme was launched. Screening tests remain essential in the fight against this disease. Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that develops very slowly, often without pain or digestive symptoms, from lesions called polyps that can bleed into the intestine. Bleeding from a polyp or cancer is not visible to the naked eye, hence the importance of the test, which is designed to detect such bleeding.

How does the organised screening programme work?

Every 2 years, people aged between 55 and 74 who live in Luxembourg and are affiliated to the National Health Fund (CNS) receive an invitation to take part in this screening programme. Non-Luxembourg residents in the target age group who are affiliated to the CNS can also take part in the programme, by contacting the Cancer Screening Programme Coordination Centre by telephone on 247-75550 or by email at

Screening consists of a stool blood test. The test is easy to use and can be done at home. People who have received an invitation can order a free test kit from an authorised laboratory. The results of the screening test will be sent directly by the laboratory.

If the result is positive, people are invited to contact their doctor to discuss whether they should have a diagnostic colonoscopy. The list of centres and doctors approved by the Ministry of Health to carry out PDOCCR colonoscopies can be found at

Preventive measures planned by the Ministry of Health and Social Security for the Blue March

To mark the Blue March, the Ministry of Health and Social Security is organising a communication campaign to encourage people to take part in the screening programme: awareness posters will be displayed in pharmacies and doctors' practices; explanatory videos will be posted on social networks; meetings will be held in markets to give people the opportunity to obtain further information.

For more information, please visit:

Press release by the Ministry of Health and Social Security 

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