FIT-FECAL DNA TEST
What it is:
* The currently available FIT-Fecal DNA test is Cologuard® . This is a stool-based screening test for colorectal cancer that is used for people at average risk for colon cancer who are age 50 years or older. The cost is typically around $600.
* If positive, this test should be followed up with colonoscopy.
* If negative, this test should be repeated in three years.
What it’s NOT:
* A test for patients who have previously had colorectal polyps or cancer
* A test for patients with a strong family history of colon cancer
Other facts about Cologuard:
* It costs 20-30 times more than the other stool screening test (FIT) with only a modest improvement in performance.
* If positive, a diagnostic colonoscopy should be performed to determine if polyps or cancer are present in the colon. Insurance coverage may be less for diagnostic colonoscopy than for colonoscopy performed as the initial screening test. Patients should check with their health insurance company to understand how screening vs. diagnostic tests for CRC are covered.
* It should be performed every three years, whereas screening colonoscopies can be performed every 10 years in people without any polyps or cancer history.
* It has a high false positive rate – especially in older patients.