A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that a non-invasive colon cancer screening test called fecal immunochemical test (FIT), is considerably efficient to detect colorectal cancer, it would present an important alternative to colonoscopy, an invasive screening test that is recommended for people over 50, since colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of deaths related to cancer in the U.S.

Results from the study would appear to show that besides the accuracy of the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) to detect colorectal cancer, it is also very easy for people to make the test at home. Among its benefits, it doesn’t require patients to drink bowel-cleaning liquids neither they need to be sedated. However, an advantage of colonoscopy is that it permits polyps removal when found.

“It doesn’t require dietary changes or medications. Logically, it’s a little bit easier and does have a higher detection rate than the fecal occult blood test. It’s been frustrating for physicians. Data shows that colon cancer screening saves lives. It’s been out there for a few years. Colon cancer is common,” Said Dr. Alok Khorana, an oncologist who heads the gastrointestinal cancers program at Cleveland Clinic, to reporters from BBC News.

Researchers from Kaiser Permanente Northern and Southern California analyzed data from more than 323,000 people, with ages between 50 and 70, who utilized FIT for detecting colon cancer, during four years. Image:/13db.com

According to the American Cancer Society, it is expected that in 2016 there will be 95,270 new cases of colon cancer and 39,220 new cases of rectal cancer in the United States. The institution explains that factors such as obesity, physical inactivity, certain types of diet, smoking and age, can increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer, which is the second leading cause of deaths related to cancer in the country, when counting men and women. Approximately 49,190 people will die as a consequence of the disease in 2016.

“Annual FIT screening was associated with high sensitivity for colorectal cancer, with high adherence to annual follow-up screening among initial participants. The findings indicate that annual programmatic FIT screening is feasible and effective for population-level CRC screening.” Wrote researchers from the  Kaiser Permanente Division of Research.

1 in 7 colon cancer patients are under age 50

It appears that more people than expected are likely to develop colorectal cancer, says a new study published on Monday in the journal Cancer. After analyzing data from 260,000 patients, the team leaded by Samantha Hendren, a professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, found that from every 50 patients with colon cancer, one is under age 50.

Researchers said that they were surprised with the results, because usually screening tests to detect colon cancer are recommended for people over 50. It appears that a new factor could be contributing for the development of the disease in younger people, so more investigation needs to be done to determine if the screening guidelines need to be updated.

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine