Can I avoid having another colonoscopy by using the fecal occult blood testing method?

I had a colonoscopy ten years ago at the age of 65. There were no polyps. I am now 75 and due for another colonoscopy. Recently I received a kit for a fecal occult blood test and sent it in for evaluation. If this test is done annually, is it sufficient information to rely on, in order to not have another colonoscopy, since I do not like to go through the preparation for it and, if there is no additional risk in avoiding it. Thank you for your answer!

Healthcare Providers (2)

Testing for occult blood in the stool is a screening test but not nearly as accurate as a colonoscopy. If you have another normal colonoscopy at 75, then according to the guidelines, you would not need another colonoscopy.

Fecal occult blood tests are not a replacement for colonoscopy. The need for colonoscopy is related to the previous findings on colonoscopy. If you have had polyps in the past a colonoscopy is usually recommended.

No Physician-Patient Relationship
You understand and agree that use of the Website does not in any way create or establish a physician-patient privilege or physician-patient relationship between you and any Medical Professional Member. You should recognize that the information provided on the Website (including past questions and answers and articles posted on the site) is provided for your general information. These materials should not be relied on as medical advice and reading and reviewing them is not a substitute for direct consultation with a medical professional about a specific medical problem.

Without limiting the foregoing, you understand and agree that submitting a Free Question or receiving an answer to a Free Question does not in any way create or establish an physician-patient relationship between you and any Medical Professional Member, or between you and us. The information and answers provided in response to Free Questions is intended to be generic medical information, not medical advice, and is based upon the very limited information provided by you in a Free Question. Specific medical advice can only be given with full knowledge of all of the facts and circumstances of your situation. If you are currently being treated by a doctor, that doctor is the best person to give you advice about a medical case or medical matter. Under no circumstances should the information obtained on this site be used to make decisions about the quality of service provided by a doctor or about the proper course of a medical matter.