Multitarget stool DNA test for colorectal cancer
The positive side of the test:
- Is performed at home
- Detects specific colorectal cancer-related mutations
- Detects the presence of human hemoglobin (a component of blood) in the stool
- Is 92 percent sensitive for the detection of colorectal cancer
- Is 42 percent sensitive for the detection of polyps 10 millimeters or larger
- Requires only one stool sample
- Requires no special diet or colon prep
The negative side of the test:
- Is not as sensitive as a colonoscopy at detecting precancerous polyps
- Could require more tests or a colonoscopy if abnormalities are found
- Has false positives in 14 percent of cases
- Must be repeated every three years
- May not be covered by some insurance plans
How do you use the test?
You need a prescription from your primary care or gastrointestinal doctor for the multitarget stool DNA test. The test kit will be mailed to you by the testing company.
At home, collect an entire stool sample, using a kit provided by your lab. Once you have collected your sample, mail it back to the testing company for analysis.
Results for a multitarget stool DNA test
Test results from the multitarget stool DNA test generally come to your doctor in about three weeks. Your doctor will talk with you about next steps. If your results are positive for an abnormality, a colonoscopy may be required. If the results are negative, you doctor may recommend that you use the multitarget stool DNA test every three years to screen for colorectal cancer.