Doctors recommend that everyone over the age of 50 undergo a colonoscopy, but many are leery of that invasive procedure.
There's now a non-invasive colon cancer screening test you can take right from home.
If not for a colonoscopy three years ago, Vernice Giles might not be alive.
"Plain and simple. It's a matter of life and death. You just have to do it," Giles said.
Volunteering for causes like colon cancer prevention, Giles prepares for charity walks when she's not getting chemotherapy. A colonoscopy diagnosed her with stage three colon cancer, which has spread to stage four.
"I know that had I gone sooner, it wouldn't have gone as far as it did," she said.
There's now an at-home screening test called Cologuard. Using the container provided, you mail a stool sample to an assigned lab.
Dr. Joseph Ferroni says Cologuard is over 90-percent accurate, testing for colon cancer and pre-cancerous polyps.
"As that starts to grow, it starts to shed its DNA, the cells containing DNA, into the stool. So that's what we're measuring," Dr. Ferroni said.
Ironically, Cologuard revealed Dr. Ferroni had precancerous polyps, which were removed.
"It either saved my life or it saved me a whole lot of problems in the future," Dr. Ferroni said.
Cologuard helps determine if you need the next step: a more thorough colonoscopy.
"Get it done, so that you don't have to go through what I'm going through now," Giles said.
Cologuard has to be ordered by a doctor and is not a replacement for a colonoscopy in high-risk patients. The test was approved by the FDA in late 2014 after undergoing a rigorous review process.
If you would like more information, check out the medical breakthroughs on the web at www.ivanhoe.com.
New colon cancer test can be taken at home
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