July 12, 2016 – Noninvasive Screening for Colon Cancer


Anchor lead: Noninvasive screening tests for colorectal cancer may be an option for some, Elizabeth Tracey reports

FIT stands for fecal immunochemical testing, and it’s one method the US Preventive Services Task Force says works for colorectal cancer screening.  So for some, giving colonoscopy a miss might be possible.  Patrick Okolo, a colon cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, says there are at least two sides to this argument on how practical the tests might be.

Okolo: What is still not known about them is what the optimal interval frequency should be.  Should you get it every year or should you get it every three years?  But I think they will improve over time.  They will become perhaps a mainstay of screening for many people since it is non-invasive. On the other hand there might be cost issues, which will push back on their adoption, because they’re quite expensive and it may not necessarily be a cheaper option.   :28

Okolo says anyone considering fecal immunochemical testing should check their insurance to make sure the tests are covered, and keep in mind that if findings indicate a possible problem colonoscopy is still likely.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.