Bowel Cancer Awareness Month - Preventative Screening Tests

Published: 13 April 2016

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is very treatable but the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. People whose cancer is diagnosed at an early stage have a much higher chance of successful treatment than those whose cancer has become more widespread. It is the second commonest cause of cancer deaths in the UK. It is a preventable cancer.

Colorectal cancer screening detects pre-malignant (pre-cancerous) polyps which can be removed at colonoscopy and early stage cancers which can be cured. A number of  non-invasive colorectal cancer screening tests are available. Cologuard is a new test which out-performs presently available tests. Dr Andrew Poullis - Consultant Gastroenterologist and Endoscopist at New Victoria Hospital and NHS accredited Bowel Cancer Screening colonoscopist is the only gastroenterologist in South London offering this service.

Cutting-edge stool DNA (sDNA) technology can identify early asymptomatic colorectal cancers and pre-cancerous polyps. Cologuard allows you the opportunity to pick up cancer early, when treatments are curative, and to detect pre-cancerous lesions which can be easily removed before a cancer develops. It is non-invasive and easy to use in your own home, requiring no time off to prepare, dietary restrictions, or changes in medication. It also uses the latest advances in stool DNA science.

Cologuard utilizes a multi-target approach to detect DNA and haemoglobin biomarkers associated with colorectal (bowel) cancer and pre-cancerous polyps to identify individuals who should proceed to colonoscopy. Eleven biomarkers are targeted and provide the strongest most sensitive and specific non-invasive bowel cancer colorectal cancer screening test.

The benefit of Cologuard was assessed in one of the largest screening trials ever conducted. Nearly 10,000 patients took part. The study demonstrated that Cologuard was 92.3% sensitive in detecting colorectal cancer, 69.2% sensitive in detecting high-risk pre-cancerous polys and 42.4% sensitive in detecting low risk polyps. These results exceed the more widely available stool based screening tests (Imperiale T et al. Multitarget stool DNA testing for colorectal-cancer screening. New England Journal of Medicine 2014;370(4):1987-97).

If you have concerns about possible bowel cancer and would like to make an appointment to discuss screening options contact Outpatients on: 0208 949 9020 or email opdadmin@newvictoria.co.uk.

For further information about bowel (colorectal) cancer and bowel cancer testing visit: www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk and www.cologuardtest.co.uk/patient

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