Cancer – histopathological picture of colon carcinoid. Photo credit: Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0
New research has shown that a simple, cheap test can help determine your risk of developing colon cancer, aid early detection, and potentially save lives.
Led by the University of Exeter and supported by the Peninsula and the Somerset, Wiltshire, Avon and Gloucestershire Cancer Alliances and the Cancer Research UK CanTest Collaborative, a new study published today in the British Journal of Cancer looked at data from nearly 4,000 patients 50 years. All health care providers in the South West of England participated in the study and took a new approach. Over six months, they delivered the fecal immunochemical test (FIT), which costs around £ 4 and can catch traces of blood hidden in the feces. The test was done on people with low-risk symptoms of colon cancer – that is, symptoms can be caused by colon cancer, but very often they are also caused by other things – such as stomach pain, unexplained weight loss, or anemia. Previously, there wasn’t a simple test for people at low risk for colon cancer.
From June to December 2018, 3,890 patients received the FIT. Of these, 618 tested positive for blood in their feces, of which 43 had received a diagnosis of colon cancer within 12 months. In the group that tested negative, only eight were diagnosed with colon cancer a year later.
Dr. Sarah Bailey of the University of Exeter Medical School, who led the study, said, “Our results are very exciting – we are showing that this simple and inexpensive test works exceptionally well for this group of patients with low-risk symptoms. Tell us quickly and accurately Who Is Probably Not To Have Colon Cancer And Who Should Be Referred For For Checkup. At a time when hospital services are lagging behind due to COVID-19 measures, a quick decision can make sure the right people are around We know FIT Interest in the use of FIT in other patients has increased, such as those with symptoms who are at greater risk of colon cancer, and we are now calling for FIT to be evaluated for use across the health spectrum, not just in primary care, and in combination with other clinical cancer markers such as blood test results “
Colon cancer has a high mortality rate – 1.8 million cases are diagnosed worldwide each year and the disease causes 900,000 deaths annually worldwide. Urgent colon cancer screening requirements have more than doubled since 2012. This is partly due to doctors’ awareness that seemingly low-risk symptoms may emerge later than an emergency with the lowest cancer survival.
Dr. Joe Mays, of the Peninsula Cancer Alliance, which brings together executives from various hospital trusts to improve cancer diagnosis and care in their area, said, “The rapid and robust analysis has shown evidence that clinicians can use the FIT test Trust. This resulted in a decrease in expected colonoscopy rates and helped us build a business model for the ongoing uptake of this service. Trust and familiarity with the test helped us navigate an endoscopy capacity crisis caused by the COVID. 19 Pandemic. We now want to demonstrate the test’s performance in higher risk populations. “
Dr. Jodie Moffat, Head of Early Diagnosis at Cancer Research UK, said, “FIT is already being used in people who have no symptoms in the bowel screening program, so it is fascinating to see how this test can be used in patients with symptoms low risk to determine who needs further evaluation. As with all tests, FIT is not perfect and some cases can be missed, so it is important that anyone whose symptoms persist, change, or worsen contact their GP even if he recently had a negative FIT result. “
The study is titled “Diagnostic Performance of 1 Fecal Immunochemical Test for Patients with 2 Low Risk Colon Cancer Symptoms in Primary Care: An Assessment in South West England” and was published in the British Journal of Cancer.
A simple at home cancer test means patients can avoid a hospital for colonoscopies provided by the University of Exeter
Quote: A Simple, Cheap Test May Help Save Lives From Colon Cancer (2021, January 18), accessed January 18, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-01-simple-cheap-colorectal-cancer .html
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