For many, the thought of a colonoscopy brings all kinds of yuck factor to mind, causing them to ignore the much needed screening.
Now an FDA approved take- home colon cancer test makes the screening process less unpleasant and may save lives.
Cologuard is the new, non-invasive colon cancer test that looks for DNA mutations in stool.
Cologuard is said to be more accurate than the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) that is commonly used. FIT detects hidden blood in stool.
According to the FDA , in a study of 10,000 people, Cologuard accurately identified 92% of cancers compared to FIT spotting 74%. However, FIT provided more accurate negative results.
Cologuard also proved superior to FIT in identifying precancerous growths.
While Cologuard is ground breaking, it does not replace colonoscopy or other invasive tests. It is just another option for doctors to screen. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends adults age 50 to 75, at average risk for colon cancer, be screened using fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy.
Is Cologuard convenient or yucky?
To use Cologuard, no dietary restrictions are required. A quick bathroom visit in which two stool samples are collected is all that is required. Within two weeks your doctor will receive results from the lab.
A positive test result indicates the need for a colonoscopy, while a negative result requires another test in 3 years.
At $600 per test, patients age 50 – 85 without symptoms or risk factors are covered under Medicare once every 3 years.
Will you try this take-home colon test?