How Do You Screen for Colorectal Cancer?

Colonoscopy
Colonoscopy is the Gold Standard. In our hands it prevents 83% of cases and 89% of deaths.

Virtual
Sounds attractive and sexy. But is considered a cancer detection test, not a cancer prevention test. It is not accurate for polyps less than 10 mm. Which means it misses 90% of polyps. Virtual is not ready for prime time. It had a lot of sizzle at first, but has fallen by the wayside.

Cologuard
Cologuard has flooded the market with it’s cute and savvy ads therefore, more people are convinced that this is the same or just as good as having a colonoscopy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Cologuard is a cancer detective test not a cancer prevention test as a coloscopy is. Cologuard checks for cancer DNA in the stool usually reflecting that cancer has already occurred. Its costly at $600 – almost the same cost as getting a colonoscopy. So, get the real thing.

FOBT
Is inexpensive, but very ineffective. There is no clear proof or evidence that it reduces a patient’s risk of dying of colon cancer. Some studies have suggested that it is an early detection test, but it has not proven to save lives.

FIT
FIT is an improvement over the FOBT to give less false positives, but again no prospective studies have shown that it prevents deaths from colon cancer.

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