Cologuard: Non-Invasive Home Test for Colon Cancer

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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Doctors recommend that people 50 and older undergo a colonoscopy. But many are leery of that invasive procedure. There’s now a non-invasive colon cancer screening test you can take right from home.

If not for a colonoscopy three years ago, Vernice Giles might not be alive to move into her new home.

Giles told Ivanhoe, “Plain and simple. It’s a matter of life and death. You just have to do it.”

Volunteering for causes like colon cancer prevention, Giles prepares for charity walks when she’s not getting chemotherapy. A colonoscopy diagnosed her with stage three colon cancer, which has spread to stage four.

“I know that had I gone sooner, it wouldn’t have gone as far as it did,” detailed Giles.

There’s now an at-home screening test called Cologuard. Using the container provided, you mail a stool sample to an assigned lab.

Joseph Ferroni, M.D., an obstetrician and gynecologist at Gynecology and Menopause Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  said Cologuard is over 90 percent accurate, testing for colon cancer and pre-cancerous polyps.

“As that starts to grow, it starts to shed its DNA, the cells containing DNA, into the stool. So that’s what we’re measuring,” explained Dr. Ferroni. (Read Full Interview)

Ironically, Cologuard revealed Dr. Ferroni had precancerous polyps, which were removed.

He said, “It either saved my life or it saved me a whole lot of problems in the future.”

Cologuard helps determine if you need the next step, a more thorough colonoscopy.

Giles said, “Get it done, so that you don’t have to go through what I’m going through now.”

Cologuard must be ordered by a doctor and is for those at average risk for colon cancer. It is not a replacement for colonoscopy in high-risk individuals, those with a past history of colon cancer, or a family history of the disease. The test was approved by the FDA in late 2014, after undergoing a rigorous review process.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Joey Wahler, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; Taso Stefanidis, Videographer.

 

MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGHS – RESEARCH SUMMARY

TOPIC:       Cologuard: Non-Invasive Home Test for Colon Cancer

REPORT:   MB #4180

 

BACKGROUND: The second leading cause of death by a cancer is colon cancer. According to the CDC, 135,000 people were diagnosed with this disease in 2012 and more than 21,500 died from it. Once a person hits the age of 50 they are more prone to developing this disease; that is why one of the following procedures is recommended in order to get tested: a fecal occult blood testing, a flexible sigmoidoscopy, or a colonoscopy. The most recommended by doctors is the colonoscopy.
(Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/12/09/colonoscopy-pros-cons.aspx)

WHAT IS A COLONOSCOPY: A colonoscopy is a medical procedure performed in order to detect ulcers, colon polyps, areas of inflammation, bleeding, and even tumors. Doctors use a thin, flexible tube called colonoscope to look at the patient’s large intestine, rectum and colon. During this procedure, tissue samples can be collected and abnormal growths can be taken out. Even though a colonoscopy may be a good procedure against preventing colon cancer, a lot of people are intimidated by the procedure and the “prep time”. Furthermore, there are some risks that are involved with performing a colonoscopy. The death rate for a colonoscopy is 1 in every 1,000, and with 15 million colonoscopies being performed in the U.S., this means that 15,000 Americans die due to this procedure.  Other complications that also exist are: colon perforation, dysbiosis, complications due to anesthesia and false positives.
(Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/12/09/colonoscopy-pros-cons.aspx and http://www.webmd.com/colorectal-cancer/colonoscopy-16695#1)

NEW TECHNOLOGY: If a patient is hesitant about performing a colonoscopy due to the risks, or they are uncomfortable with the procedure and the prep, there is now an “at-home” screening test called Cologuard. This test looks for the DNA of polyps, benign precancerous polyps and/or colon cancer.  It’s a test that’s done in the home of the patient without need for prep, transportation to and from, and without need for anesthesia. Cologuard is 90 percent accurate in its detection of polyps or colon cancer.  If the Cologuard ends up being positive, the doctor who prescribed the test will most likely then prescribe a more thorough colonoscopy. This test is not a replacement for a colonoscopy for those individuals who are high-risk or have a past history of colon cancer or a family history of the disease.
(Source: Dr. Joseph Ferroni)

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS REPORT, PLEASE CONTACT:

Gynecology & Menopause Center

(610) 725-8787

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com

 

Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Joseph Ferroni, M.D.

Read the entire Q&A