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Alternatives to Colonoscopy

Alternatives to Colonoscopy

December 29, 2021
Asma Khapra, MD
Asma Khapra, MD

Gastroenterology

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Transcript

There are multiple options for colorectal cancer screening. The best option we tell our patients, however, is a colonoscopy. This test can actually detect precancerous polyps and remove them to prevent cancer, as well as diagnose colorectal cancer itself. There are two additional stool tests that are also available for screening. The stool FIT test is done once a year. However, it does have limitations since it has a high rate of false positives, and this can be up to 50%. The stool cologuard test is a newer DNA-based test, which actually detects very advanced polyps and colon cancer. It is repeated every three to five years, but it also has a higher false positive rate, especially as people get older and especially in women. If any of these stool tests are positive, a colonoscopy is ultimately the final step. That’s why we recommend to all of our patients to get a colonoscopy as their optimal screening test.