Stopping colon cancer more than two years before it develops...that's the promise of a family of "Fecal Immunochemical Tests" (FIT's) now offered to the profession. So reports the anti-colon cancer drive spearheaded by the Quest Diagnostics company, a major provider of such life-saving tests.
While seemingly gruesome a topic for discussion, both awareness of colon cancer and FIT's are not just good medicine, they're also potential topics of life saving proportions. Really life saving proportions.
"Our interim report indicates that taking annual FIT testing in high risks groups is invaluable because it reduces the delays in the diagnosis and treatments of cancer," says Dr. Graeme Young, author of an interim study on the value of FIT's as presented at a medical conference in San Diego, California. He is not alone. The American Cancer Society recommends FIT's each year between planned colonoscopies. There is also a need for FIT's before any procedure or suspicion of cancer test in the general public. Dr. Young, an eminent Australian doctor, spoke of the virtues of such tests before the assembled doctors and industry representatives.
This means savings thousands of years annually. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, but it has a major weakness: if treated early on, the five year survival rate is 90%. To treat early one must detect early, and that is where the test looms so prominently as a lifesaver of major proportions.
"For the medical community devoted to preventing and treating this major disease, we now have evidence that annual screening of high risk patients with a convenient, take-at home test can catch cancer earlier...given the effectiveness of spotting the growths at 63%,"said Dr. Young. With about 50,000 colon cancer deaths in the country each year, FIT tests...like Quest's "InSure FIT"....the potential for relatively happy endings in the course of this dreaded and eminently stealthy disease is greater than any inconvenience.
See your internist and ask about prevention and early detection of colon cancer.