MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in both men and women, but many people who should get tested are not.READ MORE: Activists To Hold 'Down With The Chains' Rally At Bayfront Park Saturday
Now new research shows home testing is a good screening option.
A new review shows at home tests are effective for colorectal cancer screening in average risk people.
The research looked at more than 30 studies on tests called F-I-Ts which need to be done annually.
Currently, only 65 percent of people who should be getting screened for colorectal cancer are getting tested.
“There are different ways of getting screened,” said Dr. Jon LaPook/CBS News Chief Medical Correspondent. “One of them is the colonoscopy and that is a great choice for a lot of people. But for the people who don’t want the colonoscopy know that there are alternatives. One of those alternatives is the FIT test and that is looking for invisible blood that is in the stool.”READ MORE: Gov. DeSantis, Other Republican 2024 Prospects Target Public Health Officials With Political Attacks
Dr. LaPook is a gastroenterologist. He says the hope is access to less invasive and intimidating tests will increase screening rates.
“The main highlight here is that FIT seems to be a pretty good test for picking up colon cancer,” he said. “It’s a less good test for picking up colon polyps but it certainly beats doing nothing.”
With colon cancer increasing in younger people, last year the American Cancer Society began recommending average risk adults start screening at 45, not at 50.
Patrice Brown with the Colorectal Cancer Alliance reminds people to look out for symptoms, to know your risk factors such as family history and to just get screened.
“Our motto is the best test is the test that gets done regardless of method,” said Brown.
Colorectal cancer is one of the most curable types of cancer if detected early.MORE NEWS: Mask Guidance Divides Parents Heading Into New School Year
Other risk factors for colon cancer include obesity, inactivity, smoking and a diet high in red and processed meats.