Fecal Occult Blood Testing for Colorectal Cancer

The exact cause of most colorectal cancers is not yet known. About 75 percent of colorectal cancers occur in people with no known risk factors. In fact, many people who have polyps or colorectal cancer do not have symptoms in the early stages of disease development. Because of these two factors, Bon Secours is committed to screening patients for colorectal disease before symptoms occur and promoting early detection — when there is the greatest chance for a cure.

Cancer screening tests are recommended for different types of cancers at certain baseline ages to detect and remove cancers at their most curable stages. Depending on your risks and your preferences, your doctor will recommend the best screening tool for you from a variety of tests designed to find both early cancer and polyps, including flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and stool tests. A fecal occult blood test (FOBT) is a stool screening that tests tiny samples of your stool for blood, which may indicate polyp growth. FOBT tests are relatively inexpensive, and some kits allow you to test yourself at home.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises that, depending on various risk factors, individuals aged 50 to 75 should have a fecal occult blood test (FOBT), sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. Those with higher-risk may need to begin routine testing before age 50 and have it more often. You should talk to your doctor about what test is right for you and how often you should be screened. Colorectal cancer screening guidelines for those age 50 and older at average risk:

  • Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) – Every year
  • Sigmoidoscopy – Every 5 years
  • Colonoscopy – Every 10 years

Regional Experts in Colorectal Cancer Care
The Bon Secours Colorectal Center is committed to treating colorectal cancer, but we also recognize and stress the importance of prevention. The center has the newest, high-definition equipment, which allows our experts to detect more polyps before they become cancerous. Our colorectal center is the first and only one of its kind in the area to perform laparoscopic-assisted colonoscopies, an innovation that addresses polyps quickly, without the long recovery time and potential complications of major surgery.

+ Read more articles about Cancer Care.
+ Learn about Cancer Care at Bon Secours Hampton Roads.

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