Another common early stage screening test is used to detect cancer of the colon. There are actually two tests typically offered for early screening; a fecal occult blood test and a colonoscopy. The fecal occult blood test relies on checking a smear of fecal material for the presence of blood. A colonoscopy involves the insertion of flexible endoscope into the anus in order to check for polyps and growths in the large intestine. Both tests can indicate the presence of small cancers, which can then get treated early, thereby minimizing side effects and increasing the patient’s chances of survival.