ROCHESTER, Minn. (WCCO) – It’s called Cologuard and in the privacy of your bathroom at home, you can use it to collect a stool sample and mail it in for analysis.
“The most important advance and why this test is really revolutionary is that this will allow a larger percentage of the population that needs screening to undergo screening,” said Dr. Vijay Shah, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist.
After years of research, doctors at the Mayo Clinic discovered they could learn a lot about a person’s risk of colon cancer from their poop.
“The way this test works is to detect cancerous or precancerous [cells], along with blood, within the stool specimen,” Shah said, “thereby providing some prediction about the presence of cancer or precancerous lesions.”
Clinical trials show that cancer detection rates of the at-home test are close to those reported for a colonoscopy.
“I would say 90 percent would be a number that, in a very general way, is quite a good test.” Shah said.
With this new test kit, doctors are optimistic more people will get tested for colon cancer, increasing early detection and decreasing the number of people who die from the disease.
The Cologuard test will be available nationally next month.
You have to get a prescription from your doctor to purchase it and results take about two weeks to get back.