A stool based test for colorectal cancer just got an update, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Stool based tests to screen for colorectal cancer have been around for some time and work pretty well. Now one of the most utilized ones has been improved, a clinical trial shows. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says the word to the wise is use them annually.

Nelson: This is well known for stool blood tests, they work better if you do them every year or every other year. So the stool test done by Exact Sciences are the people who make the Cologuard test, this is their new and improved better test. They took adults 40 years or older, more than 20,000 of them who are going to undergo colonoscopy and they had a panel that involved a number of methylated gene targets and looking for blood in the stool. Their sensitivity was almost 94% and their specificity was 90-91%.   :30

Nelson says choice helps when it comes to convincing people to be screened. In light of the increasing rate of colorectal cancer among young adults he welcomes improved accuracy. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.