HIGH POINT, N.C. — Currently, only two thirds of Americans who are supposed to be getting screened for colorectal cancer are actually doing it. The prep, cost, invasiveness and time consumption associated with colonoscopy, often cause people to shy away from the procedure.
Until recently, fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) were the only non-invasive approach to screen for colorectal cancer. However, an article published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2014, presented exciting news about the effectiveness of multi-target stool DNA testing used for colorectal screening compared to FIT. Studies found that multi-target stool DNA testing detected significantly more cancers in asymptomatic people at average risk for this form of cancer than did FIT.
While colonoscopy remains the gold standard of colorectal cancer screening and is the recommended screening method by Cone Health’s network of gastroenterologists, multi-target stool DNA testing is an option for individuals who are fearful of or unable to get colonoscopies. This test screens for abnormal DNA that polyps and/or cancer can release into the stool. It is a physician-ordered, non-invasive screening method that can be done in the privacy of your own home. Therefore, it is important to talk to you doctor about family history of the disease and screening options available to help prevent colorectal cancer.