10 doctors weighed in:

Is the occult blood stool sample an accurate method for testing for colon cancer and where can I get info?

10 doctors weighed in
4 doctors agree

In brief: Your doctor

Stool for occult blood is a simple test , could be in your doctor's office as a quick inexpensive screening test for colon cancer, however most accurate test for colon cancer is colonoscopy.
Information available from your local hospital to american cancer society office and it is free.

In brief: Your doctor

Stool for occult blood is a simple test , could be in your doctor's office as a quick inexpensive screening test for colon cancer, however most accurate test for colon cancer is colonoscopy.
Information available from your local hospital to american cancer society office and it is free.
Dr. Addagada Rao
Dr. Addagada Rao
Thank
Dr. Liawaty Ho
Internal Medicine - Hematology & Oncology
3 doctors agree

In brief: Not accurate

First of all you have to use the most sensitive reagen- guaiac based.
If you just do it once- the sensitivity to find blood in the stool is only 10-25%. If you use it three times as recommended- the sensitivity will go up to around 80-90%. The specificity/accuracy of the test is low- as many other conditions can cause blood in the stool. Colonoscopy is more sensitive and more specific/accurate.

In brief: Not accurate

First of all you have to use the most sensitive reagen- guaiac based.
If you just do it once- the sensitivity to find blood in the stool is only 10-25%. If you use it three times as recommended- the sensitivity will go up to around 80-90%. The specificity/accuracy of the test is low- as many other conditions can cause blood in the stool. Colonoscopy is more sensitive and more specific/accurate.
Dr. Liawaty Ho
Dr. Liawaty Ho
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Muhammad-ali Zaydan
occult blood test only detects the presence of blood in stools, bleeding might not be caused by cancer, in most cases it is secondary to diverticulosis, in addition, not all colon cancer would bleed
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Your doctor

Fecal occult blood test (fobt) is a screening test for blood in stool and not specific for any diagnosis.
Positive fobt test is usually followed by a colonoscopy. Fobt is neither sensitive nor specific for colon cancer. You should discuss your need for colon cancer prophylaxis with your doctor and s/he may recommend colonoscopy.

In brief: Your doctor

Fecal occult blood test (fobt) is a screening test for blood in stool and not specific for any diagnosis.
Positive fobt test is usually followed by a colonoscopy. Fobt is neither sensitive nor specific for colon cancer. You should discuss your need for colon cancer prophylaxis with your doctor and s/he may recommend colonoscopy.
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Thank
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