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Noninvasive colon cancer test could soon be an option

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
A noninvasive colon cancer test could soon be available.

The FDA's committee of genetic experts has unanimously voted to back a noninvasive colon cancer test that identifies abnormal DNA in stool specimens. The test could mean better compliance with screening for colorectal cancer.

The test, called Cologuard (TM), isn't yet approved and it isn't quite perfect either. There is always a chance the test would deliver a false positive result. It also can't tell where in the colon cancer is located.

According to a ;press release, the test was able to detect 95 percent of colon cancers which aligns with percentages detected with colonoscopy.

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According to MDxHealth who developed the test, "Molecular and Clinical Genetics Panel of the United States Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Medical Devices Advisory Committee strongly
endorsed approval of Cologuard(TM)."

The test can also detect blood in the stool as well as polyps, which are abnormal intestinal growths and precursors to cancer.

If you have shunned getting a colonoscopy there could be a more comfortable way to get your preventing screening in the future. The Cologuard test is not yet available in the US, pending FDA approval. When detected early, colon cancer is highly treatable. Without treatment it can spread to the liver, leading to a poor prognosis for survival.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons