Fecal occult blood test for colorectal cancer screening.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer among men and women in the United States, and the third leading cause of cancer death. Strategies currently available to screen for colorectal cancer include fecal occult blood tests, sigmoidoscopy, or both tests used in combination. Colonoscopy and double contrast barium enema are potentially preferable options because they offer improved sensitivity over currently available tests, but the feasibility of these tests for population screening remains in doubt. Future opportunities for screening include focusing special efforts to deliver screening to higher risk individuals based on family history or age and the use of molecular or computer-aided radiographic techniques as alternatives to colonoscopy.