When it comes to colorectal cancer screening, expanding testing options means expanding access

In just the last decade alone, we have seen incredible progress in the treatment of cancer. Where once certain diagnoses may have meant a death sentence, the outlook and prognosis for many patients has improved dramatically.

But there are troubling trends, too.

One in particular is the emergence of colorectal cancer in younger people. Recently, the American Cancer Society reported that nearly double the number of young adults under 55 are being diagnosed with colorectal cancer compared to a decade ago. Today, colorectal cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in men under the age of 50 (second in women under 50).

Much of the progress against cancer to date is thanks to improved screening and detection. But to better deliver on the power of early diagnosis, we must continue to address barriers to testing.

These barriers are diverse and complex. Limited healthcare access is just one contributing factor to lack of colorectal cancer screening for many people. This limited access may be due to lack of adequate insurance, or living in a rural area where testing facilities are few and far between. Some people may be concerned about symptoms they are experiencing, but they do not yet reach the typical age to qualify for colonoscopy based on screening and insurance guidelines.

More testing options, and a variety of modalities, can help meet patients “where they are.”

Colonoscopy is the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening. But for some people who may not be easily able or willing to undergo colonoscopy, other options are available. Fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) are one such screening tool and an important part of the colorectal cancer screening ecosystem.

A FIT test is an at-home colon cancer screening test that works to detect hidden, or occult, blood in the stool. Blood in one’s stool may be an early warning sign for not only colorectal cancer, but also diverticulitis, colitis, polyps and other gastrointestinal disorders.

These tests require testing one’s stool at home and often sending it out to a lab for processing. But a new FDA-cleared option, ColoTest®, now allows for not only testing, but results, to be received without leaving home, and as soon as one minute. If blood is detected in the stool, results should be confirmed by a doctor and additional diagnostic procedures, likely including a colonoscopy.

ColoTest® 1ct is easy-to-use and inexpensive, with a suggested retail price of $19.99 and is available through a growing number of local pharmacies.  Offering affordability, easy access, a truly private testing experience and rapid, at-home results with more than 98% accuracy, ColoTest® can help address some of the existing barriers for people who could benefit from screening.

Many gastroenterologists and oncologists agree: the best screening is often the one that gets done. Meeting people where they are when it comes to colorectal cancer screening means making more ways to test available. This improved diagnostic access is critical to building on the progress to date and a future where fewer lives are impacted by colorectal cancer.

For more information, follow ColoTest® on Instagram and Facebook.


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