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A 46-year-old member asked:

Are occult blood tests for colon cancer reliable?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Liawaty Ho
Hematology and Oncology 23 years experience
Not really: The sensitivity of occult blood test is very low -about 20-25% if it is done only once. If it is done in 3 separate occasions- the sensitivity of the test to check for GI bleeding will be higher up to 90%. However, the test's accuracy for colon cancer is not high as GI bleeding can be caused by so many things-hemorrhoids, avm, gastric ulcer etc. Colonsocopy needs to be done if occult blood is +.
Dr. Rafael Lugo
General Surgery 28 years experience
Screening: It is a good start specially of yo had before and they were normal.

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A 44-year-old member asked:

Are occult blood tests for colon cancer effective?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
Not optimal: Occult blood in stool (fobt) are helpful in detecting colon cancer and their use improves outcomes. However, fobt by itself is not a treatment therefore it is not possible to comment on its effectiveness. Colonoscopy is a much better screening test.

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Last updated Mar 12, 2020
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