Madison, Wisconsin – According to the results of a study conducted in more than 150,000-subject, only three in a thousand people which represent 0.3%, supported annual colorectal cancer screening using either the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) or fecal occult blood test (FOBT) during a continuous 10-year observation period. The study was recently published in the American Journal of Managed Care.

Even though the United States Preventive Services Task Force guidelines recommend Fecal occult-blood testing and immunochemical test for screening for colorectal cancer, the sensitivity of such combined testing for detecting neoplasia seems not to have been successful.

Only 0.3% of the population supports annual colorectal cancer screening. Photo credit: Monkey Business Images / Photospin
Only 0.3% of the population supports annual colorectal cancer screening. Photo credit: Monkey Business Images / Photospin

These new data released in the study conducted by Optum, a division of UnitedHealth Group, demonstrated that annual adherence to screening with fecal blood tests is almost inexistent. Of the patients who use fecal blood tests for screening, average utilization was only one test every four years.

“This study highlights the fallacy of annual fecal blood testing as an effective means of colon cancer screening,” said Kevin Conroy, chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences.

The United States Preventive Services Task assumed that fecal blood test would be 100% effective in its adherence, but virtually no patients are supporting the procedure. Conroy said that these data questioned the assumptions on the clinical use of fecal blood tests.

Another colon cancer screening option like Cologuard, which is supported by a patient-focused compliance service, can increase screening effectiveness by helping to ensure high levels of adherence.

Conroy said that Cologuard demonstrated significantly higher sensitivity than FIT in a 10,000-patient prospective study and is the only screening test backed by a nationwide colon cancer compliance service.

Covenant Health offers free colonoscopy clinic

Covenant Health will provide free colonoscopy clinic for the fifth time as part of the National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The clinic will be held April 2 at the Covenant Endoscopy Center. The Procedures will be done by a group of physicians from Lubbock Digestive Disease Associates.

People over the age of 50, or who have a family history of colon cancer, may be in need of a colonoscopy which is a test that looks into the inner lining of one’s large intestine using a flexible tube. This procedure can detect ulcers, tumors, areas of inflammation or bleeding and polyps- a benign mole that if left alone can turn into cancer.

Source: PR Newswire