Disadvantages of at-home screening
- Does not allow a doctor to actually see the inside of your colon, which is how most polyps and cancers are discovered.
- May miss tumors that bleed in a small amount or not at all
- Follow-up colonoscopy after a positive test may not be covered by insurance
- Possible false positive results
- Possible false negative results
The fecal immune test (FIT) is used to detect blood in stool that cannot be seen with the naked eye. A FIT is often used to detect bleeding in the digestive tract which has no other signs or symptoms. A FIT test may not detect blood from further up the digestive tract (such as the stomach), which means it is more specific to finding blood coming from the colon.
Like FIT, the stool DNA Test detects microscopic amounts of blood in stool, but also looks for certain DNA changes and mutations found in cancerous tumors or precancerous polyps. Cells from precancerous and cancerous lesions with certain mutations often shed DNA biomarkers into the stool, where this test can detect them.
Learn moreOther screening methods
Initiative aims to reduce stigma and educate about screening choices, as the Colorectal Cancer Alliance launches a health equity fund to decrease disparities.
On the horizon are blood tests that have shown the ability to detect a variety of cancers including colorectal and rare cancers. Though these tests are still in development and are not yet approved by the FDA, clinical trials have shown impressive results.
In February of 2022, John and Mary experienced the unimaginable. Their 36-year-old son, Jonathan, died of stage IV colon cancer. Though Jonathan had been dealing with ulcerative colitis from the time he was twelve, no one would have predicted this outcome twenty-four years later.