This study was written as a graduate thesis.
There are several screening tools for colorectal cancer (CRC). Most are limited in their application. The fecal occult blood test (FOBT) is a first-step screen for CRC that is limited by low sensitivity. This study aimed to prove the efficacy of combined FOBT and fecal carcinoembryogenic antigen (fCEA) as a CRC screening test.
Stool samples were collected preoperatively from 166 CRC patients expected to undergo elective surgery and from normal control patients. A fecal CEA/FOBT dual kit was created and the results from the use of this dual kit were compared against other clinicopathologic parameters.
FOBT was positive in 103 of the 166 (62.0%) CRC patients and fCEA was positive in 114 (68.7%) patients, showing a statistically positive relationship. Among 63 FOBT negative patients, 29 (17%) cases were CEA positive. Thus, the CEA/FOBT dual test could detect CRC in 79.5% of the patients (132/166). The sensitivity and specificity of the dual FOBT/CEA test was 79.5% and 97.9%, respectively.
The FOBT/CEA dual test has increased sensitivity compared to the FOBT test and may have merit as a screening device for colorectal cancer. Population-based studies are required to confirm this potential.