How FOBT might point to other diseases

Researchers suggest a state of generalised inflammation is the missing link

We know that faecal occult blood testing, through Australia’s bowel cancer screening program, saves lives.

FOBT kit

But although the test was designed to identify colorectal cancer by detecting faecal haemoglobin, a research group has been investigating another possibility — whether a positive result might flag other cancers and even non-cancer diseases.

Led by colorectal cancer screening expert Gillian Libby, from the ­University of Dundee, they linked guaiac FOBT results from more than 134,000 people in a National Health Service database with mortality