If you had a colonoscopy in the past, you have experienced the exhausting prep, the anesthesia and then you wake up from the test awaiting the doctor’s results. This colonoscopy alternative will change the industry.
Colonoscopy saves lives but is a lousy screen since there are so many costs, logistics, and risks involved. Since it has to be done on a one by one basis, you cannot do many colonoscopies without having many facilities and doctors to do the tests.
A new test named FIT, which stands for a fecal immunochemical test has in studies been shown to be as effective as a colonoscopy for screening people for colorectal cancer. This test now makes broad-scale screening for colorectal cancer possible, scalable, and cost-effective.
The test comes in a small cardboard box that you send to the lab and in a few days, the results are reported online. If the test comes back positive, you will then contact your doctor for a colonoscopy.
This is great for patients as you can now screen millions and then perform colonoscopies on patients who are truly at risk. This is a great way to direct only those who truly need this test to their doctor for the procedure.
The NY Times recently reported on this, check it out below
A Colonoscopy Alternative Comes Home
An at-home test for colon cancer is as reliable as the traditional screening, health experts say, and more agreeable.
By Paula Span Jan. 11, 2021
Most Americans who are due for a colon cancer screening will receive a postcard or a call — or prompting during a doctor’s visit — to remind them that it’s time to schedule a colonoscopy.
But at big health care systems like Kaiser Permanente or the federal Veterans Health Administration, the process has changed. Patients who should be screened regularly (age 50 to 75) and who are of average risk, get a letter telling them about a home test kit arriving by mail.
It’s a FIT, which stands for fecal immunochemical test. The small cardboard mailer contains equipment and instructions for taking a stool sample and returning the test to a lab, to detect microscopic amounts of blood. A week or so later, the results show up on an online patient portal.