Patients who had undergone curative resection for colorectal cancer were studied to compare the efficacy of faecal occult blood detection (Haemoccult test) with colonoscopy in the detection of metachronous tumours. Fifty nine patients were studied and both Haemoccult testing and colonoscopy were successfully completed in 54 patients. In 37 patients, both tests were negative. One patient with a positive Haemoccult test had no colonoscopic abnormality and remains alive and well two years later. There were, however, 16 patients with negative Haemoccult tests in whom an abnormality was found on colonoscopy. In four patients, one Dukes's A cancer and seven tubulovillous adenomas were found--all neoplastic lesions that would have been missed if surveillance had been by Haemoccult alone.
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