It is well known that a colonoscopy test is an invasive and tedious process. Prepping for a colonoscopy often involves avoiding solid food the day before the exam, adjusting medications, and drinking a laxative solution or using enemas to empty your colon. Fortunately there is a wide variety of options for at home screening tests which are accurate, convenient, and can be used in the comfort of your own home.
If you have an increased risk of colon cancer, your doctor might recommend more-frequent colon cancer screening with colonoscopy. Talk to your doctor about your colon cancer risk if you:
- Have a personal history of colon cancer or precancerous polyps
- Have a parent, sibling or child who has had colon cancer
- Carry a gene for a hereditary colon cancer syndrome
- Have a history of inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease
"The best screening test is the one that gets done. So, if people aren't willing to undergo a colonoscopy, we still want them to consider the at-home testing options."
What Are My Options For An At-Home Colon Cancer Screening?
As options for at-home colon cancer screening increase it can become more challenging to make a decision on what option is right for you. The options for at-home screenings include -
- Stool DNA Test (Such as ColoGuard)
- Fecal Occult Blood Test or Fecal Immunochemical Test (Such as Alfa Scientific Designs)
Stool DNA testing requires the entire stool specimen, collected using a small bucket that hangs in the toilet, and costs approximately $400 to $800 which can be covered by some insurance companies. Whereas a FIT Test from Alfa Scientific Design sells a 2-Pack FIT test for $30.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians “Because colorectal cancer takes several years to progress from adenoma to cancer, FIT could be performed annually at a much lower cost and would likely detect many of the initially missed cancers in subsequent years.” Whether you decide to go with a Stool DNA Test or a FIT test the most important thing is to get screened.