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J R Soc Med. 1989 July; 82(7): 388–390.
PMCID: PMC1292199

Evaluation of a 'DIY' test for the detection of colorectal cancer.


A new type of faecal occult blood test, EZ-Detect, has been evaluated in 404 patients presenting with symptoms suggestive of colorectal disease. The test avoids handling of stools and gives a result which patients can read themselves--factors which may increase patient compliance. In comparison with the Haemoccult test, EZ-Detect has the same sensitivity for blood in laboratory conditions. In clinical use 98% of patients expressed a preference for EZ-Detect but it detected significantly fewer patients with cancer than did Haemoccult (P = less than 0.05). In its present form, this type of test would be unsuitable for population screening for colorectal cancer even if improved compliance is achieved.

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Selected References

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  • Hardcastle JD, Farrands PA, Balfour TW, Chamberlain J, Amar SS, Sheldon MG. Controlled trial of faecal occult blood testing in the detection of colorectal cancer. Lancet. 1983 Jul 2;2(8340):1–4. [PubMed]
  • Leicester RJ, Lightfoot A, Millar J, Colin-Jones DG, Hunt RH. Accuracy and value of the Hemoccult test in symptomatic patients. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983 Feb 26;286(6366):673–674. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • HOERR SO, BLISS WR, KAUFFMAN J. Clinical evaluation of various tests for occult blood in the feces. J Am Med Assoc. 1949 Dec 24;141(17):1213–1217. [PubMed]
  • Bader JP. Screening of colorectal cancer. Dig Dis Sci. 1986 Sep;31(9 Suppl):43S–56S. [PubMed]

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