There are several types of screening tests for colorectal cancer. The most common and most effective is colonoscopy. But at-home screening tests like Cologuard and fecal occult blood tests have risen during the age of the coronavirus.
Each test comes with their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s good to know about what each test does. There’s no best test for any person. Whatever screening option you choose, it’s important to know how to properly prepare and administer these test so you are getting accurate results. The best screening is one that gets done. Talk to your doctor to figure out which text is right for you.
In this video, Dr. O’Connor discusses at-home colon cancer tests and getting a colonoscopy in this conversation with Nurse Alice Benjamin and Dr. Scott Metcalfe from Bravo’s Married to Medicine on BlackDoctor.org.
Dr. Lynn O’Connor: There are multiple screening modalities. With a colonoscopy, that’s the only modality that’s going to allow for diagnostic and therapeutic treatment. What I mean by that is you put the scope up, see the polyp, and now we can actually remove the polyp. That’s the one that’s the one-stop shop. Cologuard, when you do the, “Get go gone”, that’s fine. However, if there’s a false positive you’re still going to get referred for a colonoscopy. If you do one of those Fecal Occult Blood Tests, which are still good and helpful to do them every year, you can still find a colon cancer. But the problem is if you’re taking certain medications, it can give you a false positive. Like aspirin. If you’re eating certain foods, like beets, it can look red and give a false positive. Even if you have a polyp or a cancer it doesn’t bleed all the time. So you can have a false negative test where you have a cancer but it’s just not bleeding at that time. Now, there is a CT colonography where you can have a CT scan picture.
Nurse Alice: Is that the virtual colonoscopy?
Dr. O’Connor: Yes, it’s virtual! But the problem with the virtual colonoscopy is some patients don’t clean out as well as they should so there’s still a little residual stool. And if there’s a little residual stool then that can look like a polyp on a virtual colonoscopy. So guess what you’re doing? You’re cleaning out again and you’re going to get a colonoscopy. As long as you’re screened, that’s what matters.