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Question:

Screening tests for Colorectal Cancer

Dear Ask The Doctor:
I am worried about bowell cvancer.I have had loose motions for several months and am woried that this may be a symptom. I have previously had a rectal examination and more recently a FBC which came back OK. My doctor thinksit may be IBS but I am not convinced-just worried.


Answer:

Colorectal cancer is a common cancer in men, secondly only to lung cancer. If, however, the cancer is detected early through screening, it may be highly treatable and need not be deadly. Depending on your symptoms your doctor may advise one or more colorectal cancer screening tests. Usually the first screening test done by a doctor is a guaiac fecal occult blood test or a fecal immunochemical test. Studies have shown that fecal occult blood test, when performed every 1 to 2 years in people ages 50 to 80, can help reduce the number of deaths due to colorectal cancer by 15 to 33 percent. If however you are still not convinced, you can ask your doctor for a sigmoidoscopy or preferably a colonoscopy to rule out any colorectal cancer.


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