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Two New Colon Cancer Tests Encourage More Screenings

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, March 06, 2008 10:49 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Colon Cancer, FDA and Prescription Drugs, Medical Devices

Two new methods to test for colorectal cancer should encourage more than the 50 percent of Americans who choose not to be tested.  

LEARN MORE

  • Exact Sciences Corporation here

  • Exact Sciences Stockwatch here 

  • American Cancer Society here 

  • Injuryboard on Colon Cancer here 

An endorsement of a cancer detection technology  Exact Sciences Corporation (EXAS.O) boosted its shares 67 percent before the bell this morning.  

Exact Sciences has developed a technology that searches for DNA markers in stool and has now been included in the American Cancer Society’s guidelines for colorectal cancer screenings.   

The company says that its technology is not invasive. An entire bowel movement is sent to a lab where the DNA can be examined for any mutations that are associated with colorectal cancer.  Exact Sciences closed at $2.09 Wednesday.  

Colorectal cancer kills nearly 50,000 people a year in the U.S. and is the second leading cause of cancer death and one third of those deaths could be prevented through regular screenings.  

Because many people are squeamish about having an invasive colon scan, half of adults over the age of 50 just don’t get them.   

The American Cancer Society hopes the DNA testing along with another non invasive procedure will increase testing. The second test is a virtual colonoscopy in which a CT scan looks for polyps. It does not require an invasive internal scan that the standard colonoscopy requires.

The tests are now part of a list of seven testing options from which people can choose. The medical groups are providing as many options as possible, they say, hoping patients find one acceptable.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer which is 90 percent curable if caught early enough.  There are two methods of testing -- the first looks for precancerous growth and includes a colonoscopy, which takes a look at the entire colon or a partial look at the colon through a flexible sigmoidoscopy, a barium enema and virtual colonoscopy.

A second group of tests searches for colon cancer through blood in the stool, which frequently misses polyps and now the stool DNA test. While less effective in finding polyps but may be the preferable choice for many ultimately. 

The American Cancer Society says whatever method you choose- get tested. #


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