Non-Invasive Colon Cancer Screening Shows Promise During Early Trials
It is an accepted fact that while colon cancer is ranked as among the leading causes of cancer-related deaths, the disease can be curable for as long as it is detected in its early stages. Unfortunately, colon cancer screening can involve invasive and uncomfortable procedures that some people shy away from. It is for this reason that part of colon cancer research focuses on developing non-invasive ways of detecting the disease.
A feature on Bloomberg Businessweek shares the results of early trials conducted on a new non-invasive test for colon cancer.
Dr. David A. Ahlquist is a professor of medicine and a consultant in gastroenterology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He is the lead researcher in a study that conducted preliminary testing on new technology called the Cologuard sDNA test; according to the Businessweek feature, the test works by identifying specific altered DNA in cells, which are shed into the patient’s stool by pre-cancerous or cancerous polyps.
The discovery of DNA abnormality will still call for a colonoscopy in order to confirm the results.
Dr. Ahlquist shared that Cologuard is the first non-invasive test that has the ability to detect pre-cancerous polyps, and is the only test that can spot cancer in all locations in the colon. The test also does not call for the patient to undergo special preparation.
Preliminary trials showed that the test was able to identify 64 percent of pre-cancerous polyps, and 85 percent of full-blown cancers. A presentation of the findings of the study was to be conducted by Dr. Ahlquist at the meeting on colorectal cancer, sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research, in Philadelphia.Tags: colon cancer, colon cancer detection, colon cancer screening, colon cancer test, colon cancer treatment