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Colon Cancer Screening Test Called Inaccurate

Common Test Performed in Doctor's Office Often Misses Cancer, Researchers Say

In-Office Test Overused, Inaccurate continued...

Nearly a third of the doctors also said that if their patient had a positive result on an in-office FOBT, they would follow up by repeating the same test rather than referring the patient for colonoscopy, as recommended.

About one in four of the more than 11,000 adults over 50 reported having a fecal occult blood test, and about a third said they had the test in the doctor's office only. Less than half of those who had a positive result on an in-office FOBT said they had been for further testing with a colonoscopy.

Experts call the results of the studies a "shocker."

In an editorial that accompanies the study, Harold C. Sox, MD, editor of the journal, says, "These two studies discredit the office-based, single-sample screening test for occult blood while simultaneously showing that it is a common practice."

"Taken together, they send a strong message to primary care physicians to re-examine their colorectal cancer screening practices."


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