A colonoscopy examines the entire colon with a long flexible tube. It involves a bowel cleansing the day before, and sedation during the procedure. Due to this, the screening rates remain low. Studies have shown that only one out of three people who are eligible for a colonoscopy have one. It is also seen that some people don’t want to go through the bowel preparation, while others fear being sedated. If you have been advised by your doctor to undergo a colonoscopy, but you decided not to have it, your doctor can discuss other screening tests that may be suitable for you. There are two common and affordable alternatives to colonoscopy: high-sensitivity fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and Stool DNA test (FIT-DNA). These tests can be done easily in the privacy of your home with the help of instructions provided with the test kit.
FOBT checks for tiny amounts of blood in the stool that cannot be seen visually. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two types of FOBT to screen for colorectal cancer: guaiac FOBT (gFOBT) and the fecal immunochemical test (FIT, also known as iFOBT). In these tests, stool samples are collected by the patient using a kit, and the samples are returned to the doctor.
Guaiac FOBT: It uses a chemical to detect heme, a component of the blood protein hemoglobin. The guaiac FOBT can also detect heme in some foods. People are therefore advised to avoid certain foods, such as red meat, before preforming this test.
FIT: It uses antibodies to detect human hemoglobin protein. There are no dietary restrictions required for FIT.
According to research, a number of deaths due to colorectal cancer can be reduced by 15%-30% if guaiac FIT is performed every 1 to 2 years in people aged 50 to 80 years.
The DNA test is approved by the FDA. Similar to FIT, it is a multi-target test that detects tiny amounts of blood in the stool. It also detects nine DNA biomarkers in three genes found in colorectal cancer and pre-cancerous advanced adenomas. Just like FOBT, the stool sample for the FIT-DNA test is collected by the patient using a kit. The sample is then mailed to a laboratory for testing. A computer program analyzes the results of the test and provides a finding—whether positive or negative.
Polymedco CDP, LLC is a leading manufacturer, marketer, and distributor in the clinical laboratory marketplace. We are a world leader in fecal occult blood screening technology, providing the new standard of care. Contact us for a Fecal Immunochemical Testing (FIT) kit. Call 888-638-7757.