Colorectal cancer screening: the test can be completed in a home kit

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The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 97,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year and will cause approximately 50,600 deaths. It is the third most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer death.

Although colorectal cancer screening has been shown to be effective in reducing cancer deaths, researchers report that the number of screeners is too small. The current guidelines of the ACS recommend routine screening for general-risk groups 45 years of age and older, using high-sensitivity fecal examination or structural (visual) examination, and all positive results should be  colonoscopy. Despite these recommendations, the study found significant differences in screening rates, including ethnicity, geographic area, and other socioeconomic factors.

Since colorectal cancer is a preventable disease, efforts are being made throughout the country to increase the screening rate of colorectal cancer, but the screening rate is only about 63%, while the screening rate of low-income and other vulnerable groups is often lower.

The latest research suggests that with stool immunochemical tests, or FIT kits, they can detect blood in stool and common symptoms of colon cancer. The patient can complete the test at home and return it to the provider for analysis. Patients with a positive result of the FIT kit test will be scheduled for colonoscopy.

In the study, 21% of patients who received the FIT kit completed the screening test, and 18 people who completed the FIT test had abnormal results, and 15 of them required colonoscopy. Of the 10 patients who completed the colonoscopy, 1 patient had abnormal results.

The researchers plan to continue to study whether this detection method can be implemented on a larger scale and learn more about cost-effectiveness and how to increase the screening rate of vulnerable groups.

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