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Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers
Results of a recent study show that more than 75 percent of U.S. primary care physicians that use fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) to screen for colorectal cancer rely on in-office testing more than home-based tests, despite better accuracy in home-based testing.
National guidelines emphasize the use of at-home tests as opposed to in-office FOBTs because the digital examination of samples misses almost 95 percent of cancers or polyps.
A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed data collected from the 2006-2007 National Survey of Primary Care Physicians' Recommendations and Practices for Cancer Screening, attempting to find improvement since a survey done in 2000 revealed that many primary care physicians used inappropriate methods to implement FOBT.
The most recent survey interviewed over 1,100 primary care physicians who reported the use of in-office FOBTs at least once every month, with 25 percent of these physicians only using in-office testing. Results from the survey also showed that about 53 percent of the physicians used both home and in-office FOBTs.
Moreover, most doctors recommend screening for adults ages 50 years and older, while patients who have a family history of colorectal polyps or cancer should consult a doctor about screenings at an earlier age.
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