Recent Blog Articles

Diseases & Conditions

Ask the doctor: New DNA-based test for colorectal cancer

June 19, 2015

n0715b16207252288727Q. I heard that there is a new stool test for colon cancer screening. Can this test replace colonoscopy for me? I am 68 years old with no history of colon problems, and my last colonoscopy was normal.

 

 

A. Among screening tests for hidden colorectal cancer, colonoscopy remains the "gold standard" because it's the most effective technique for detecting colon cancers and simultaneously provides an opportunity to remove any precancerous growths (polyps). The new DNA-based stool test (Cologuard) is less invasive and inconvenient than colonoscopy and finds more cancers and polyps than older stool tests, but it does not entirely eliminate the need for colonoscopies.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.