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The Right Colorectal Cancer Test for the Right Patient
Date:3/2/2010

"As GI physicians on the front line of diagnosing colorectal cancer, we are concerned that recent news reports may give an incomplete picture of the use of various screening tests in detecting colorectal cancer, especially if patients are at higher than average risk," commented ACG President Philip O. Katz, M.D., FACG.  

The ability to prevent colorectal cancer through polyp removal is the cornerstone of ACG's recommendation of colonoscopy as a "preferred" cancer screening strategy.  There is a tremendous body of evidence that shows that clearing the colon of polyps, including small polyps, significantly reduces colorectal cancer mortality.  When detected in its earliest and most treatable stage, the survival rates for colorectal cancer exceed 90 percent.

"It's vital that patients are fully aware of all of their options because some tests could delay the accurate diagnosis of colon cancer and the prompt removal of colon polyps," explained Dr. Katz.  In some cases, false negative stool tests could prevent the timely detection of abnormalities which could impact survival.  Suspicious findings on some tests mean that patients may still need to undergo colonoscopy.


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SOURCE American College of Gastroenterology
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