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March 22, 2024

Have You Scheduled Your Colonoscopy?

The first blood test to screen for colorectal cancer could be approved later this year. In a recent article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, data found that a blood test from Guardant Health was, overall, 83% effective in finding colorectal cancers. This test has the potential to improve screening adherence and detect colorectal cancer earlier. The test would not replace a colonoscopy, especially while the colonoscopy remains the best method to detect precancerous lesions or polyps. Ultimately, the blood test could be a convenient new tool and a step in the right direction to finding tests that people will use. 

While a colonoscopy is the most accurate and earliest way to detect cancers, it may be too hard to get past the “ick” factor for many who are at the recommended age of 45. Many eligible Americans do not get their recommended screenings for colorectal cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, “in the United States, colorectal cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and the fourth leading cause in women, but it’s the second most common cause of cancer deaths when numbers for men and women are combined. It’s expected to cause about 53,010 deaths during 2024."

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