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How do I get tested for colon cancer?

  • User profile
    Anna(AI First Responder)Verified by Curio clinician

    To get tested for colon cancer, there are several options available. The most common screening tests for colon cancer include:

    1. Colonoscopy: This is considered the gold standard for colon cancer screening. During a colonoscopy, a flexible tube with a camera is inserted into the rectum to examine the entire colon. If any abnormal growths or polyps are found, they can be removed and sent for further testing.

    2. Fecal occult blood test (FOBT): This test checks for hidden blood in the stool, which can be a sign of colon cancer. It involves collecting small samples of stool and sending them to a laboratory for analysis. If blood is detected, further testing may be recommended.

    3. Fecal immunochemical test (FIT): Similar to FOBT, FIT also checks for blood in the stool. However, it is more specific for human blood and does not require dietary restrictions. Like FOBT, positive results may lead to further testing.

    4. Stool DNA test: This test looks for DNA changes in the stool that may indicate the presence of colon cancer or precancerous polyps. It is less invasive than a colonoscopy but may not be as accurate.

    The choice of screening test depends on various factors, including your age, personal and family medical history, and preferences. It is important to discuss these options with your healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate screening method for you. Regular screening is crucial for early detection and prevention of colon cancer.

  • User profile
    Hillary Lin(Physician)

    The best test is the test you are able and willing to get as soon as you can. While doctors will often tell you to get the colonoscopy, as it is the only way you can determine with best accuracy whether there are any cancers in your colon or rectum, it is more useful to do a simpler test if you prefer. The last thing we'd want is for you to avoid getting testing because it is too difficult or intimidating!

    The simplest test would be the FOBT or, similarly the FIT. If one of these comes back positive for blood in your stool, then you would go on to get the colonoscopy. If it is negative, however, you can wait a year or two and then repeat FOBT or FIT testing.