Colon Cancer Screening Tests
Colon cancer (CRC) develops slowly from precancerous lesions which can be removed at an early stage. Early or regular screening tests can reduce the incidence and mortality of the disease.
Generally, CRC is asymptomatic in early stages. As lesions of CRC grow, the symptoms may include abdominal pain, weight loss, anemia, constipation, diarrhea, and changes in stool. People who experience the symptoms of CRC, or people at risk, should be screened regularly. There are different types of screening tests available, including the following:
Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)
This test detects hidden (occult) blood in stool. Blood in the stool can be an indication of CRC because adenomas polyps and cancer lesions tend to bleed. The test detects the blood using a chemical reaction. However, it cannot differentiate whether the blood is from a colorectal polyp or other sources. Hence, if the test result is positive, a colonoscopy will be performed to establish the source of the bleeding. Patients performing the test receive a kit with instructions explaining how to take a stool sample at home. The test kit is then sent to a lab for testing.
Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)
The Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is designed to detect occult blood (hidden blood) in the stool, caused by adenomas polyps and CRC lesions. It detects blood in the stool by reacting to parts of the human hemoglobin protein, found in red blood cells. Patients performing the test also receive a kit with instructions explaining how to collect the stool sample at home. The test kit is then sent to a lab for testing. If the test result is positive, a colonoscopy is performed to confirm the results. The FIT is like the FOBT; however, no drug or dietary restrictions are required prior to the test. FIT gives fewer false positive results. It’s simple and easy to perform.
Stool DNA test
This is a non-invasive test that detects certain gene changes found in colon cancer cells. The DNA changes in the stool could be a sign of pre-cancerous growths (polyps) or cancer cells. The patient uses a kit to collect a stool sample at home and mails it to a lab for sampling. No special diet or bowel preparation is required for a stool DNA test. However, if the test result is positive, the patient will need a colonoscopy to confirm it.
In a colonoscopy, the doctor views the entire colon and rectum with a colonoscope, a flexible, lighted tube with a small video camera on the end. It is inserted through the rectum and into the colon. If polyps are identified during the procedure they can be removed and biopsied to determine the patient’s risk of developing CRC. A colonoscopy test usually requires complete bowel prep and some form of sedation. The procedure takes about 30 minutes.
CT Colonography (Virtual Colonoscopy)
This is a non-invasive test done by patients who prefer not to have a colonoscopy. It uses advanced computers and X-rays to create a three-dimensional virtual model of body’s tissues inside of the colon and rectum. The test does not require sedation and it takes only a few minutes. However, it requires complete bowel prep. A colonoscopy may be required for further examination if polyps or other suspicious areas are detected.
In this test, the doctor views the lower part of the colon (about one third of the colon) and rectum with a sigmoidoscope, which is a flexible, lighted tube with a small video camera on the end. It is inserted through the rectum and into the colon. If polyps are found, they can be removed and biopsied during the procedure. The test requires complete bowel prep, and usually some form of sedation. It takes about 20 minutes.
Contact Polymedco CDP, LLC
Colorectal cancer, one of the deadliest forms of cancer, can be cured if caught early. Early treatment dramatically increases the chance of survival. Contact Polymedco CDP, LLC for effective colon cancer screening products. Call 888 638 7757 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.