Sunday, February 18, 2024

Test For Colon Cancer At Home

How Accurate Are At

At-home test can help detect colon cancer

It’s important to remember that colonoscopies are the most accurate way to detect colon cancer. However, at-home colon cancer tests are quite accurate for the most part. For example, the FIT mentioned in the above section detects cancer with around 79% accuracy³. 5% of the time, these tests deliver false positives, which means they detect cancer when none is present.

The FIT-DNA tests are more accurate at 92% but deliver false positives more often .

In the past, tests called Guaiac FOBT were often used as at-home tests, but these tests aren’t very accurate.

Why Getting Screened Regularly Matters

Getting screened regularly may increase your chances of finding, treating, and potentially surviving colon cancer.7 Because the risk of colon cancer increases with age, even if you have been screened in the past, you should get screened again in the future.1 How often you screen depends on which test you choose.3

What To Know About At

Its estimated that just over two-thirds of U.S. adults between the ages of 50 and 75 are up to date on getting screened for colorectal cancer, a disease that will affect an estimated 100,000-plus Americans in 2019.

But while getting a colonoscopy is still considered the gold standard for diagnosing and treating colon or rectal cancer, it isnt the only way to screen for it.

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that at-home fecal immunochemical tests are effective for people considered to be at average risk for the disease. The so-called FIT tests involve collecting a small amount of fecal matter with a swab, then sending it to a lab for analysis.

These tests must still be ordered or prescribed by a physician, who also is responsible for informing patients of the results, says Shelli Bergeron, RN, a colorectal nurse coordinator at Beaumont.

Also, if these studies yield a positive finding, a future colonoscopy is definitely warranted to further delineate the positive finding, she continues.

Heres what to know about the two primary at-home screenings for colorectal cancer:

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When Should You Get Tested For Colorectal Cancer

If you are at average risk for colorectal cancer that is, you have no existing symptoms, family history or risk factors your first colonoscopy should happen at the age of 45. Thats also the age youd start doing at-home tests, says Dr. Kanters.

Still, you need to have a conversation with your doctor before going this route. These are for the perfectly healthy 45-year-old with no family history, she says. Those are the right candidates for at-home tests.

Although she always recommends having a full colonoscopy so doctors can catch more potential problems, getting some kind of colorectal cancer screening is always better than avoiding them entirely.

Ultimately, if this is going to be the thing that gets you in to be screened for cancer, absolutely do this, Dr. Kanters says. If you feel strongly that you will not undergo a colonoscopy, please ask your doctor about at-home tests. Theyre a great way to determine if something else needs to be done and better understand your risk for possibly having cancer.

To learn more from Dr. Kanters about the importance of colorectal cancer screenings, listen to our Health Essentials podcast episode, Colorectal Cancer Screening Options. New episodes of the Health Essentials podcast publish every Wednesday.

What Does The Test Measure

Top 13 Best at home colon cancer test [In Depth Review For 2022 ...

At-home colorectal cancer tests detect blood that may be due to the presence of polyps in the colon or rectum. Each type of at-home test involves self-collecting a stool sample and testing as described in the following sections.

Fecal occult blood test

A fecal occult blood test measures whether there are microscopic traces of hemoglobin in the stool. Hemoglobin is a protein found in blood.

This test works by applying a small amount of stool to a test card that includes a chemical called guaiac. When analyzed in the laboratory, the guaiac changes color if the stool contains hemoglobin. For this reason, the test may also be called a guaiac FOBT or gFOBT.

In most cases, an FOBT includes three test cards that are meant to be used with three consecutive bowel movements. Depending on the test manufacturer, an FOBT may require temporary dietary changes before testing, such as avoiding red meat or high doses of vitamin C, to improve accuracy of the test measurement.

Fecal immunochemical test

A fecal immunochemical test can detect blood in the stool by measuring the presence of antibodies to the hemoglobin, a protein that is found in blood. FIT is considered to be better at detecting blood than FOBT. FIT is performed on a sample from one bowel movement and does not require any changes to diet before the test.

FIT-DNA test

A FIT-DNA test, also known as a multitarget stool DNA test, includes two measurements:

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Why Would I Take An At

Testing at home offers an inexpensive and quick option for those who want screening but are unable to receive it. While there are a variety of options for screening for colon cancer, most of them require seeing a physician and having tests done at a hospital or outpatient center. Some types of tests also require preparing beforehand, which means time off from work or school. In addition, even though colon cancer is being diagnosed in younger people, it may be difficult to receive a test from a physician for patients that dont fall within the age range for screening.

Best For Access To A Doctor: Labcorp Ondemand Colorectal Cancer At

  • Test directions aren’t provided on the website

  • Pricier than some other options

  • PWNHealth also receives test results, which may not be desirable for those who want privacy

  • Stool sample must be sent in the mail

While a more expensive option, Labcorp OnDemand stands out for offering access to its healthcare provider partner, PWNHealth, in order to help you understand results.Labcorp was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Burlington, North Carolina. It provides diagnostic, drug development, and technology-enabled solutions. The companys website states that the labs with which it processes tests are CLIA-certified.

The Colorectal Cancer At-Home Test is available for order on the Labcorp website, but little information is available on the site regarding how the sample is collected. When ready to take a stool sample, the test needs to be registered by logging into the Labcorp OnDemand website and entering the bar code found on the kit. The kit should be returned the same day the sample is taken by scheduling a FedEx pickup or taking it to a FedEx dropbox.

Purchase includes the cost of physician services from PWNHealth. Test results can be checked via the Labcorp website. In the event of a positive test result or one that requires prompt follow-up, the company may contact consumers by a phone call or email.

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Pixel By Labcorp Colon Cancer At

Overview

Labcorp has served the community with its trusted at-home testing kits and other medical products for over fifty years. Labcorp comprises a network of CAP-accredited and CLIA certified laboratories analyzing and verifying over three million patient samples per week. Among their most trusted products is their FIT kit.

Highlights

  • All customers are eligible to register for a free, personal account with Pixel
  • FedEx is our trusted delivery partner, so your sample will get to us efficiently
  • Your kit comes with all the necessary tools to obtain your sample, including detailed instructions, a wand, and capture paper
  • Patients may have access to physicians from PWNHealth after completing their purchase of Labcorps FIT kit.
  • Labcorp will contact you directly should you test positive for colorectal cancer
  • The Pixel at-home colon cancer test is less restrictive relative to age than its competitors. Anyone over the age of eighteen can conduct their own screening for colorectal cancer
  • After receiving your results, you may have access to a group of independent physicians to offer guidance or next steps
  • Labcorp maintains a well-established lab network to better detect cancer and, as such, reduce the likelihood of scams, false-positive test results, and false-negative results.

Pricing

The cost of Pixel by Labcorp is $89. Labcorp accepts payments from HSA or FSA cards, alike.

My Take

Can I Do An At

Colon Cancer: At-Home Screening with Stool-Based Testing

The simple answer to that is YES! It may sound surprising to you, but you can check for colon cancer at home. Since colonoscopies can be painful and expensive for some, at-home colorectal cancer tests present a safe and effective alternative.

Many pharmaceutical companies have developed kits for people to test themselves for colon cancer at home. Some of the best at-home colon cancer test kits include

  • EverlyWell-provides at-home lab testing to a variety of populations with over thirty varieties of at-home lab tests
  • Lets Get Checked offers several kits, totaling thirty-four health tests you can take at home
  • Second Generation FIT this product from Pinnacle Biolabs has been a bestseller for six years
  • EZ Detect one of the most cost-effective and convenient at-home colon cancer test kits
  • Pixel by Labcorp over fifty years of experience providing trusted at-home testing kits and other medical products

For the convenience of our valuable readers, we have gathered all the relevant details about the testing kits offered by each of the aforementioned companies, including their mission, pricing, benefits, and more.

The most common tests used for colorectal cancer screening are fecal immunochemical tests and fecal occult blood tests . FIT tests are more sensitive, as they detect the presence of hidden blood in a patients stool, which is the earliest indicator for colon cancer. Each test on this list is a FIT test, making them all dependable methods of at-home colorectal care.

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How We Chose The Best At

Tests for colon cancer screening at home include a wide range of prices and services. Some of the major reasons for testing for colon cancer at home include cost, convenience, and privacy. We looked at all of these factors as well as the accuracy of at-home testing, ease of collecting a sample, and the support testing companies offered in the event of a positive result.

Types Of Colon Cancer Screening Tests

At-Home Stool Tests

  • There are 2 types of at-home tests: Fecal Occult Blood Test or Fecal Immunochemical Test
  • You do these tests at home and send stool samples to a doctors office or lab.
  • These tests show if there is blood in your stool.
  • If blood is found, you will need to have a colonoscopy to find the cause of the bleeding.
  • These tests are safe and easy to complete. No time off from work is needed.
  • You do these tests once a year.

Colonoscopy

  • A colonoscopy is done in a doctors office or other medical place.
  • The doctor looks for growths or cancer in the rectum and colon.
  • Any polyps found during the test can be removed. This may help prevent cancer.
  • You will be given medicine to make you more comfortable or to put you to sleep during the test.
  • If the results of your test are normal, a colonoscopy can be done once every 10 years. Otherwise, your doctor will tell you when you should have the next test.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

  • A flexible sigmoidoscopy is done in a doctors office or other medical place.
  • The doctor checks for growths or cancer inside the rectum and lower third of the colon.
  • This test is done every five years. If this test is done along with an FOBT, the FOBT should be done every three years.

The Cancer Services Program of the Central Region offers breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screenings for uninsured and underinsured people.

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Currently > 80% Of Cologuard Patients 45

  • Read more

    Many national and regional insurers have begun paying for colon cancer screening at 45. Exact Sciences continues to work with payers to expand coverage and access for patients 45-49.

Special Topic: Insurance for Colonoscopy After a Positive Cologuard Result

It is important that you fully complete your colon cancer screening. If you have a positive Cologuard test result, you should discuss it with your healthcare provider and have a colonoscopy to see what this positive result means for you.

Millions of patients have access to this colonoscopy with no out-of-pocket cost. Additionally, the federal government is adding new patient protections that will rapidly increase the number of plans covering these colonoscopies free of out-of-pocket costs. Still, the best way to understand what is covered by your plan is to call your insurer directly. Here is some additional information about commercial health plans, Medicare and Medicare Advantage and how they may cover a colonoscopy after a positive Cologuard test. Read more

Best Overall: Everlywell Fit Colon Cancer Screening Test

At Home Colorectal Cancer Screening

Everlywell

  • Takes Insurance: No, but accepts HSA or FSA payments
  • Results Turnaround: 5 days

Everlywells comprehensive dashboard not only provides you with easy-to-understand test results, but it also offers additional resources and tips to aid the entire process. The test is only available for people over 45 years old.

  • Option to work with a Everlywell physician

  • Features a comprehensive dashboard

  • Results can be downloaded/shared with a healthcare provider

  • No restrictions on diet or medication prior to test

  • Requires handling stool in order to get a sample

  • Instructions can be confusing

  • A stool sample must be mailed to a laboratory

Everlywell was founded in 2015 and offers direct-to-consumer tests that are done in conjunction with laboratories. The company indicates that the labs with which it processes tests abide by industry standards such as being Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments -certified and, in some cases, accredited by the College of American Pathologists . Everlywell provides other services along with the tests, including help in interpreting results, a consultation with a physician to discuss test results, and further information and resources about colon cancer. Consumers register their kit through the Everlywell website once they receive their materials in the mail.

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Colon Cancer: When To Be Screened

  • Any male or female from ages 50 to 75 is at high risk of colon cancer, thus screening tests on regular intervals are highly recommended by the U.S Preventive Services Task Force.
  • If one has any one of the symptoms of colon cancer, it is best to schedule an appointment with the doctor as soon as possible.
  • People who have a family history of colon cancer or who have personal history of ulcerative colitis should be screened earlier than age 50.

Benefits And Downsides Of At

At-home colorectal cancer testing offers certain benefits and drawbacks that are important to consider when deciding if this type of screening is right for you.

Potential benefits of at-home colorectal cancer testing include:

  • Convenience: You can take the test from home at a time that fits your schedule without having to make an appointment or travel to a medical office.
  • Noninvasive testing: At-home testing does not require any invasive procedure and does not cause any discomfort or side effects.
  • Multiple options: Because there are several types of at-home stool tests, you can choose from different options based on your preferences, price, and recommendations from your doctor.
  • Effective cancer screening: When performed regularly, at-home stool tests are considered by medical experts to be a dependable method of early detection of colorectal cancer for those who are at average risk for colorectal cancer.
  • Supports working with your doctor: At-home tests can help advance conversations with your doctor about your risk of colorectal cancer. In many cases your doctor can order a test kit to be sent to your home.

Some of the potential downsides of at-home colorectal cancer screening include:

Your doctor can review these pros and cons with you to help decide which type of screening is best for you.

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Get A Colonoscopy If Youre At Above

A colonoscopy is an exam where a doctor looks at the lining of the entire colon using a long, flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end.

It should be used if youre at above-average risk for getting colon cancer, meaning you have a family history of colon cancer that includes one or more parents, siblings or children with the disease. If this is the case:

  • Talk to your family doctor or nurse practitioner. You are at a higher risk of colon cancer and should get checked with a colonoscopy.
  • You should start getting a colonoscopy at age 50, or 10 years earlier than the age your relative was diagnosed with colon cancer, whichever comes first.
  • The amount of time you should wait until getting checked again after a normal result is based on your family history. Your doctor or nurse practitioner can advise on what is appropriate for you.

Learn more about colonoscopies.

Some people who have had polyps removed from their colon may be at increased risk of getting colon cancer and may need to be checked regularly with a colonoscopy instead of an at-home test.

People with inflammatory bowel disease may also be at increased risk for getting colon cancer and may need to get checked regularly with a colonoscopy instead of an at-home test.

If you do not have a family doctor or nurse practitioner, you can visit Health Connect Ontario or call 811. If you live in a First Nation community, you can contact your health centre or nursing station.

Catch Colon Cancer Before Its Too Late

Some people are facing pricey medical bills after using popular at-home colon cancer test

Is an at-home colon cancer test right for you?

Cons

  • If you test positive, youll still need a colonoscopy. The positive test may decrease the insurance reimbursement for your colonoscopy because it would be considered diagnostic, not screening, at that point.
  • Unlike a colonoscopy, the test does not treat colon cancer, because it does not allow for immediate removal of polyps or tumors.
  • It doesnt examine the entire colon.
  • If youre uninsured, its more expensive than a FIT test.
  • Its not available if you have higher-than-average risk.
  • A clinical study showed 13% of patients without cancer still tested positive . False negatives colon cancer cases Cologuard missed were 8%.

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