A stool DNA test has drawn much media attention as means of knowing whether one suffers from colon cancer. There is only one stool DNA test currently one the market and although it still has not yet been approved by all the relevant authorities it is nevertheless, still a very promising test. The test has however, been championed by the Canadian Cancer Society and other reputable associations in the field.
How is a Stool DNA Test Carried out to Detect Colon Cancer?
First, we may begin by explaining what the colon is and does. The colon is a part of the large intestine. Whilst the small intestine is mainly concerned with nutrient absorption, the large intestine is important for the absorption of water. The lining of our intestine naturally sheds cells and these are picked up as food or water passes through our system; these cells are then passed out with our stools.
Cells from pre-cancerous polyps and tumors may detach themselves just like normal cells and exit the body with our stools. These cells will show considerable changes in DNA structure, or precisely in the DNA markers, which would indicate to scientists the presence of a cancer.
There is a range of cancers which are all associated with the colon; to ensure maximum screening efficiency and thoroughness, tests are carried out on multiple markers. The changes in these markers may sometimes be very subtle and thus, analysis must be very meticulous.
Advantages of the Stool DNA Test
The stool DNA test is highly effective in detecting the entire spectrum of cancers of the colon. It has an 88% sensitivity for the detection of cancer with the probability of detection remaining equal which ever stage the cancer is at and moreover, independent of the location of the cancer on the colon.
The test will not substitute colonoscopies. Rather, it will be an option for those patients who cannot, for medical or psychological reasons, have a colonoscopy or are unwilling to do so.
The second leading cause of deaths in the US is due to colorectal cancer. Stool DNA testing as a new screening technology is a real necessity.
Other related health genetic tests developed include DNA testing for cardiac arrest. This will help pre-empt (although perhaps not prevent) a heart attack.
Knowing your risk of colorectal cancer with our test
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