A colonoscopy is not a fun procedure, but an important one nontheless. By the time you are 50 years old, the Centers for Disease Control recommend that you begin having regular colonoscopies to detect colon cancer. True, the CDC recommends one colonoscopy every ten years which isn't the end of the world when you're talking about detecting cancerous polyps before it's too late. But the procedure is uncomfortable since it involves places a lighted tube up the rectum to look at the interior walls.
There may soon be a way to avoid the pain and hassle of a colonoscopy, say scientists. A new noninvasive screening test can detect most precancerous polyps according to a study released last Thursday. The screening test developer, the Exact Sciences Corporation, says that its product has detected 92% of cancers detected by colonoscopies and 42%
of precancerous polyps. The test looks for alterations in human DNA derived from a stool sample. Unfortunately, the test did not pan out the way that the company had hoped with the lower than expected detection abilities. So it is perhaps safe to say that colonoscopies will still be the tried and true method of detecting colon cancer.
Nevertheless, it is difficult to get people to go in for their colonoscopies because they are invasive, expensive, and time-consuming. Exact Sciences hopes that its noninvasive test could be used as an initial test and that patients who test positive could then be persuaded to undergo a followup colonoscopy. This is a promising move considering that 143,000 new cases of colon cancer are detected every year with 52,000 deaths in the U.S. alone.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.