Navigation Links
Fecal Blood Tests Effective at Spotting Colon Cancer
Date:9/25/2007

But they are underused, experts say

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A new generation of fecal blood tests can screen for colon cancer with unprecedented accuracy, researchers report.

But the tests, although easily available, are greatly underused, said study author Dr. James Allison, an investigator with the Kaiser Permanente division of research in Oakland, Calif.

"A lot of gastroenterologists think that colonoscopy is the only test for colon cancer," Allison said.

But colonoscopy is also expensive, uncomfortable and carries the risk of damage such as internal bleeding, he said. A simple fecal occult blood test, costing less than $30 and done in minutes, can single out that small percentage of the general population that would benefit from colonoscopy, Allison said.

The study is published in the Sept. 25 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

At least 10 fecal occult blood tests have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Allison said. The most widely used is Hemoccult, which has been shown in controlled trials to reduce mortality from colorectal cancer.

The two tests described in the new journal report use different methods to detect hidden blood. "Each one has different pluses and minuses," Allison said. "We need to find out which is best -- which we should be using in the United States and elsewhere."

One of the tests described in the journal report uses guaiac, the chemical in Hemoccult, as a detector. The other uses an immunochemical method. Screening of 5,841 people showed the immunochemical test to have a sensitivity of 81.8 percent, meaning that it detected that percentage of colorectal cancers and polyps. And it had a specificity -- the ability to determine which people did not have the conditions -- of 96.9 percent. The guaiac test was 64.3 percent sensitive and 90.1 percent specific.

Allison has been conducting something of a crusade to promote use of fecal occult blood tests to screen for colorectal cancer. "I am doing a tour of the United States and talking to primary-care physicians," he said.

Use of the tests not only saves lives but also reduces incidence of colorectal cancer by permitting removal of precancerous polyps, said Jack Mandel, chairman of the department of epidemiology at Emory University, who wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal.

"We did the first large study at the University of Minnesota in 1993 to show that fecal blood testing reduces mortality," Mandel said. "There were 50,000 people in that trial. Two years later, we showed that testing reduced the incidence of colorectal cancer."

Robert Smith, director of cancer screening for the American Cancer Society, said, "We recommend both guaiac-based tests and immunochemical tests. We recommend them for all adults age 50 and over."

No preference between the two methods is stated, because "at the time our last guidelines were updated, there was no clear advantage of one over another," Smith said.

"The challenge has been to get folks to use them, in particular to get doctors to adopt them in the office," he said.

More information

To learn more about colorectal cancer screening, visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute.



SOURCES: James Allison, M.D., investigator, Kaiser Permanente division of research, Oakland, Calif.; Jack Mandel, Ph.D., chairman of epidemiology, Emory University, Atlanta; Robert Smith, Ph.D., director of cancer screening, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Sept. 25, 2007, Journal of the National Cancer Institute


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Is Prior Testing Necessary For Diagnosis And Treatment Of Fecal Incontinence (FI) ?
2. Fecal Bacteria, a Source of Contamination
3. Recommendations for Treatment of Blood Pressue
4. Blood Cells Capable of Regenerating Liver
5. Infant receives first bloodless liver transplant
6. Spouses and other partners lower blood pressure says new research
7. H2O - a cure for low blood pressure
8. Uncontrolled blood pressure
9. Weight and Blood Pressure
10. Grandmother’s diet in pregnancy can affect grandchildren’s blood sugr
11. Early diagnosis for autism from blood tests may be possible
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... viewers the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which ... current events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The ... identity. “America On The Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. ... great-grandchildren. As a WWII veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors and ... flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January of ... Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve both ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics ... PhD, FACMI, during the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s ... of Morris F. Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Restoration, has recently contributed a medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic ... Mohebi’s article spotlights the hair transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... , Oct. 12, 2017 West Pharmaceutical ... innovative solutions for injectable drug administration, today announced that ... market opens on Thursday, October 26, 2017, and will ... and business expectations at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To ... 253-336-8738 (International). The conference ID is 94093362. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... -- Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), today provided an ... Puerto Rico , where the company ... Following a comprehensive onsite assessment, ... damage, temporary loss of power and minimal water damage ... operations have resumed, and the company expects to return ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... 2017  In response to the nationwide opioid ... Surgeons (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations that urge ibuprofen ... as a first-line therapy to manage a patient,s ... Recognizing the value and importance of ... Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative Pain Management" stresses that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: