CHARLESTON, WV (WCHS/WVAH) — A new test for colon cancer is allowing patients the convenience of staying in their home and preventative care.
Dr. David J Patton said in the past year the recent technology called Cologaurd is making colon cancer testing extremely easy for one type of patient; the patient trying to avoid the dread colonoscopy.
“This is really for people that it’s hard to convince to get a colonoscopy. They need some type of screening and with this it seems very personal that they can stay in their own home they don’t have to undergo a procedure that is scary to them,” Dr. Patton said.
It’s shipped straight to your home. Dr. Patton said accuracy is still good with the test and results come back in a week and half.
“If that comes back positive, then they really do need to go get colonoscopy,” Dr. Patton said.
Despite the new test, the colonoscopy remains the gold standard.
“Certainly the screening is the important part at this point. Just getting it done, no one wants to do it. Believe me I didn’t want to do it, my wife didn’t want to do it, but it’s one of those things that’s necessary,” Dr. Patton said.
He said colon cancer is less invasive if caught early. Dr. Patton and his family have lost several family members to colon cancer. Dr. Patton just hit his one year mark of being cancer free. Five years ago he went in for a routine check up.
“I had had one four years previous, which was negative, but in that amount of time I had gone from no colon cancer to a stage three.”
Dr. Patton became the patient.
“I tried to just sit back and let the doctors take over and not try to manage myself,” Dr. Patton said.
He went through surgery and six months of chemotherapy before his colon could be reattached.
Dr. Patton said at one point he and his family didn’t think he was going to make it.
“Just going through the surgeries, chemotherapy is something I would love to spare other people from going through,” Dr. Patton said.
The Colon Cancer Coalition has found that colon cancer kills more people than breast cancer, which is why Dr. Patton wants to eliminate the fear of a colonoscopy because early detection is key.
“We’re hoping that something similar can be done with colon cancer to raise awareness. And let’s face it people don’t like to talk about their colon’s very much,” Dr. Patton said.
The test, Cologuard, is approved by the Federal Drug Administration.
Call your doctor for further details and if the at home test is right for you.