July 7, 2013

ONLY THE LONELY:

Blood test may one day replace colonoscopy (Catholic Online, 6/9/2013)

The researcher's relatively simple blood test detected cancer correctly 87 percent of the time and was right about those without cancer about 95 percent of the time. When they looked only at stage I developments of the disease, the test caught the cancer 92 percent of the time.

While still in early stages, this kind of research is "very exciting," Dr. Eric Esrailian, co-chief of the division of digestive diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine says. 

Other scientists are simultaneously trying to determine whether an older, less invasive test is as good as a colonoscopy when it comes to a first screening. While it must be noted that colonoscopies are credited with reducing deaths from colorectal cancer, Dr. H. Gilbert Welch says there is still no indication that the tests actually save more lives than a lower tech, less invasive alternative: the stool test.

Colonoscopy became much more popular than the alternative simply because "the basic idea of it was so appealing," Welch, a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice says. "It was being used as the follow-up test for the [stool] test. And the idea was, 'Wow if we do this as a follow-up test, maybe we could just do it on everyone'."

It's more sex than medicine. Not that there's anything wrong with that....

Posted by at July 7, 2013 10:13 AM
  

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