New Screening for Colon Cancer - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

New Screening for Colon Cancer

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Barry Murphy is fighting colorectal cancer and regrets waiting to see a doctor for a screening. "By the time they did discover it, it had actually spread from my bowel to my lymph nodes and there were some lesions on my liver as well."

Studies show up to 50% of people avoid traditional colorectal cancer exams because of they are so intrusive. Now, researchers in Europe, say they've come up with a simple blood test for colorectal cancer that can detect 85% of cases.  

Biotech company VolitionRX says the test can also detect 50% of growths that can turn into cancer. Test developer Dr. Jake Micallef says so far they've only studied about 200 people, but research is ongoing. "The earlier you diagnose cancer, in general obviously, the better for the patient."

U.S. guidelines recommend adults 50 and older get a colonoscopy every ten years or a specialized fecal test every year. Over 90% of colon cancer cases are treatable if caught early.  The company that makes the blood test hopes it will be available in Europe in the next two years.

Written By Wendy Damonte
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