Patients may be more likely to be screened for colon cancer if they can get FOBT

Reuters reports that, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, individuals may be more likely to undergo colorectal cancer screening if their physicians suggest that they receive fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) rather than a colonoscopy.

Medscape reports, “A total of 997 racially and ethnically diverse participants were enrolled in the study, which was conducted in the San Francisco Health Network, the public healthcare system of the city and county of San Francisco.”

MedPage Today reports that altogether, 58% of participants “completed at least one screening method, but 38.2% patients randomized to colonoscopy completed that exam versus 67.2% of patients who were assigned to fecal occult blood testing (P<0.001).”

Meanwhile, “among those patients given a choice between fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) and colonoscopy, 69% completed one of the two exams.”

The investigators also “found that the common practice of advocating screening with colonoscopy reduced adherence among racial and ethnic minorities in their study.”

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