Can At-Home Test Detect Colon Cancer?

doctor performing colonoscopy

New, innovative developments have been made in cancer detection. In August, the US Food and Drug Administration approved an at-home colon cancer test.Cologuard is the first type of at-home technology in cancer detection. The test has to be ordered through a medical professional, but it can be performed at home. The technology is able to screen the stool sample for DNA mutations and red blood cells, both of which could be signs of colorectal cancer.Most other cancer detection tests require patients to take certain medications, follow a certain diet or prepare their bowels. Cologuard doesn’t require any of that.The test is sensitive enough to detect colorectal cancer even at its earliest stages. It’s sure to be extremely useful for those who are at risk of developing colorectal cancer.In most cases of this type of cancer, it begins with small polyps attaching to the walls of the large intestine and rectum. It primarily affects both men and women over the age of 50. If the new test is effective, it could reduce the amount of colorectal cancer deaths by about 60 percent.The test only requires a small sample of stool from the patient. From there, the technology will examine it to find any abnormalities associated with cancer cells. If the test comes back positive, patients then need to seek a medical professional to get further more in depth testing. The FDA stated that this new test actually is more accurate in detecting cancer cells than a commonly used fecal occult test. The Cologuard can pick up 92.3 percent of abnormalities.Fecal occult blood tests can only be done once a year at home. It can only detect the presence or absence of blood. It can’t actually detect cancer cells.With every test, there are both pros and cons. The Colorguard has a chance of picking up false positives. It will inform you of any abnormalities, even those that aren’t cancerous. Many people could test positive but not have anything to worry about. It’s important to seek a professional after doing the at home test to get a complete diagnosis.Even though the FDA has approved this new test, they still recommended for people to follow traditional screening guidelines. Patients over the age of 50 should still get a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. Either of these tests are nearly flawless in cancer detection.Even if the Cologuard does detect polyps along the walls of the intestine, it can’t remove them. While a patient is undergoing a colonoscopy, the polyps can be removed. Leaving the polyps in too long can spread the cancer or cause the patient to undergo major surgery.The biggest concern for patients is the cost of Cologuard. A single test costs as much as $600. Medicare has announced that it will pay for one test every three years for patients who meet a certain criteria.Hopefully, this new technology will produce the desired effects of less deaths by colorectal cancer. For other types of cancer, patients currently only have the option of traditional methods. If you are in need of medical imaging Las Vegas, the radiologists at Steinberg Diagnostic can take care of you. With top of the line technology and an excellent staff, you are sure to be in good hands. For more information about radiology Las Vegas, contact 702.732.6000.

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