ROCHESTER, Minn. — Colorectal cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death for men and women combined in the U.S. The goal of screening is to reduce the number of people who die from this common cancer. According to Mayo Clinic cancer experts there are gaps in current screening approaches in terms of detection accuracy, patient willingness to use them, and accessibility.
Recently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced draft recommendations on colorectal cancer screening. The task force recommended screening for colorectal cancer using the conventional tools, including, fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy in adults, beginning at age 50 years and continuing until age 75.
The task force concluded that the evidence is less mature to support use of the stool DNA test as a screening modality for colorectal cancer and designated this new test as an alternative rather than front-line screening approach. The innovative and noninvasive stool DNA test (Cologuard) was co-developed by Mayo Clinic and Exact Sciences scientists to improve screening accuracy, encourage participation with its user-friendly features, and remove access barriers. The stool DNA test has met the stringent reviews and been approved by both the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Mayo Clinic strongly urges the USPSTF to unambiguously support the stool DNA as a fully legitimate colorectal cancer screening option.
“There is compelling scientific evidence that this innovative approach can increase screening accuracy and potentially save lives,” says John Noseworthy, M.D., President and CEO, Mayo Clinic. "We need to remove cost, cultural, location and other barriers to improve access to effective screening.”
Brian Kilen, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, firstname.lastname@example.org