The fecal occult blood test is usually taken at home and can detect small amounts of blood in the stool that may be from polyps. A barium x-ray is a special type of x-ray where the patient drinks barium and is x-rayed several times while it passes throught the digestive system. A flexible sigmoidoscopy is used to look inside the body, but can only reach the last section of the colon.
The gold standard for colon cancer screening remains the colonoscopy. During a colonoscopy the entire colon can be screened, and any polyps can be removed immediately before they have any chance to become cancerous.