Colon cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and early detection is vital. The sooner it is detected, the greater are the chances of successful treatment. If it is treated at an early stage, the survival rate exceeds 90%.
95% of cases of colon cancer develop from polyps, which are benign tumours growing inside the colon. Typically, they do not cause any pain, and often remain undetected for many years before becoming malignant. At this stage, the hidden early stages of colon cancer can be detected by a simple test for blood in the stool. The test enables you to increase your chances of early detection and thereby reduce your risk considerably.
When should I test?
Above the age of 40, if not sooner, everyone should perform an annual test for blood in the stool. It may be better to start testing before reaching 40 if, for example, there is a history of colon cancer or polyps in your family. The test serves to identify blood in the stool which is not yet visible.
Colon polyps bleed occasionally, and colon cancer will reveal blood at a very early stage. If, when performing this test, you detect blood in your stool, you should see your doctor in order for the medical reasons to be identified. What makes this test unique is that you do not need to restrict your eating habits in any way in order to perform it, and it can be conducted simply and easily at any time of day, giving you a result within just a few minutes.
How high are my chances of developing colon cancer?
The cause of colon cancer is largely unknown. However, a yearly faecal occult (blood in the stool) test is recommended from the age of 40. If colon polyps have been diagnosed in parents or siblings this test should be performed at an earlier age, and at shorter intervals. Remember, if you are experiencing any symptoms that you are worried about, you should consult your doctor for help and advice. For more information on colon cancer and symptoms associated with it click on the link given below.
What should I do if the test result is positive?
Discuss the result with your doctor. Besides colon polyps and colon cancer, several other conditions may produce a positive test result. Inflammatory bowel conditions, haemorrhoids or changes in the digestive tract are some of the possible causes, and must be taken into consideration by your doctor. It might be helpful to take these instructions with you to show your doctor, so you can give him or her a better idea of the type of test carried out.
What should I do if the test result is negative?
A negative result does not entirely exclude the possibility of a bowel condition, since some colon tumours only bleed intermittently. Around 25% of tumours do not bleed constantly. For this reason, it is important to test yourself or arrange to be tested annually from age 40 at the latest in order to keep your risk as low as possible.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Always consult your doctor before making any important medical decisions.
Alcohol and a number of medicines such as acetyl salicylic acid (aspirin), glucocorticoids, non-steroidal antiphlogistic / anti-rheumatic agents or cumarin derivates may cause gastrointestinal bleeding (and therefore avoidable, positive results). Please consult your doctor before performing the test if you are taking such medication. Haemorrhoids or blood in the urine may also produce a positive test result.
This test is an immunological test for identifying blood in the stool, which works by detecting human haemoglobin (hHB).
CE Marked for Home Self Testing
All tests are posted discreetly in Plain Packaging