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Home Stool Tests for Colorectal Cancer Screening Gaining Popularity

March 6, 2023

Home Stool Tests for Colorectal Cancer Screening Gaining Popularity


Home stool testing may be an easier way to screen for colorectal cancer than the dreaded colonoscopy. As cancer rates among young people continue to rise, home testing may help improve detection rates and get people to treatment sooner.


March marks the start of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third most common cause of cancer death in the United States. According to a new study by the American Cancer Society, diagnoses of the disease are on the rise among young adults under the age of 55 and are being diagnosed at a more advanced stage.


That's why the American Cancer Society is reminding people that any colorectal cancer screening can save lives. According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, adults with an average risk should be screened starting at age 45.


In an interview with ABC News, Dr. Jeffrey Farmer, surgical oncologist and interim chair of surgery at Fox Chase Cancer Center, said, "Catching cancer early makes treatment so much easier."


Home stool testing, in which people collect stool samples and send them to a lab, can help simplify the testing process for some people. Here's how to know if this is a good option for you


Who is a good candidate for at-home stool testing?


The first step is to talk to your doctor about whether you are eligible for stool testing at home, given your family history and medical history.


Only people with an "average" risk of colorectal cancer - without any family or medical history that would make them high-risk - should use this test. Experts say high-risk individuals do not qualify.


High-risk individuals are those who have a first-degree relative (such as a parent or sibling) with colon cancer, or who have a personal or family history of high-risk colon or rectal polyps. Dr. Fola May, a gastroenterologist, quality director and health equity researcher at UCLA Health, told ABC News that these individuals "should only have a colonoscopy.