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Colon cancer test detects warning signs earlier than others

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 2 months ago

New research led by the Netherlands Cancer Institute suggests that scientists have developed a new stool test that may be more effective at detecting colorectal cancer than the current tests on the market. Published in The Lancet, the study found that the new test could improve colorectal cancer outcomes and increase chances of survival.

Colorectal cancer is a serious disease, with close to 2 million people worldwide being diagnosed each year and over 930,000 people dying from it, according to the World Health Organization. Detecting the disease early is crucial for successful treatment, but many people are not diagnosed until they have late-stage symptoms.

The current stool tests used to detect colorectal cancer have reduced mortality rates, but they are not perfect and can occasionally produce false negatives. The new stool test, called a multitargetFIT-test (mtFIT), evaluates levels of hemoglobin as well as two other proteins that are biomarkers for colon cancer. In a study involving 13,187 people in the Netherlands between the ages of 55 and 75, the mtFIT test was found to be more effective at detecting signs of colorectal cancer compared to the current FIT test. It identified more people with abnormal protein levels and was better at detecting polyps and growths that required follow-up colonoscopies.

The researchers believe that the new test could help doctors identify cases of colorectal cancer earlier, potentially reducing the risk of death from the disease. They estimated that the mtFIT test could lead to a 21% reduction in cases of colorectal cancer and an 18% reduction in deaths.

However, it is important to note that the mtFIT test has only been evaluated in the Netherlands, and further studies are needed to compare it to commercially-available FIT tests before it can be widely used. Additionally, while the new test may be more sensitive, it does not replace the need for colonoscopies. Regular screening, starting at age 45 for people in good health, is still recommended by the American Cancer Society.

In conclusion, the development of a new stool test that may be more effective at detecting colorectal cancer is an important advancement in cancer screening. If proven to be successful in future studies, it could lead to earlier detection and treatment, potentially saving lives and reducing the prevalence of colorectal cancer.

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