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:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... The OSHA Training Center at ... Center headquartered in Northern California, has issued an important reminder to employers to ... Employers with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish a complete heat ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... ... "FCPX editors can now reveal their media with growing colorful split screen ... - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Color brings the split screens ... reveal the media of their split screens with growing colorful panels. , ProSlice Color ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... for mental health professionals, announced today its affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. ... solutions to the network of the Tennessee Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... industry today announced its strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader ... two companies’ proven, proprietary technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... A revolution ... the emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions of people who require these ... disrupted the taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... One of Australia,s successful biotechnology scientists, Dr ... biotechnology company, Noxopharm Limited [ABN 50 608 966 123] ("Noxopharm"). Noxopharm ... on the ASX. Noxopharm is a clinic-ready company with ... 1 clinical study later this year. ... problems facing cancer patients - the ability of cancers to become ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , June 27, 2016 Jazz Pharmaceuticals ... waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of ... acquisition of Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: ... p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). As previously announced ... into a definitive merger agreement under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... OTTAWA, Ontario , June 27, 2016  VMS ... the Company,s Board will take whatever measures required to ... the Company,s stock which is currently listed on the ... S Wexler, Company Chairman and CEO, "We are seeing ... be difficult to understand, not only by the Company, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: