Frequently asked questions on Colorectal Cancer

What is colorectal cancer?

  • Colorectal cancer happens when cells in your colon or rectum grow abnormally and out of control. It may start as a polyp, or small growth, in your colon or rectum and spread to other parts of your body.
  • This cancer is also called colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where the cancer is. It is most common in people older than 50.

Who is at risk of colorectal cancer?

A positive result from another screening method in the last year

  • You’re considered to be at risk if you have:
  • A family history or predisposition of colon cancer (such as Lynch syndrome or familial adenomatous polyposis)
  • A personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
  • A personal history of colorectal cancer, adenomas, or other related cancers
  • African Americans are about 20% more likely to get colorectal cancer and about 40% more likely to die from it than most other groups, same is true for Ashkenazi Jews 

Most common symptoms of colorectal cancer

  • A change in bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool that lasts for more than a few days
  • Rectal bleeding, dark stools, or blood in the stool
  • Cramping or gnawing stomach pain
  • Decreased appetite, vomiting, weight loss, weakness and fatigue

How can I protect myself?

  • Get screened for colorectal cancer.

What is colorectal cancer screening?

  • Screening tests that look for cancer before signs and symptoms develop. These tests can find colon or rectal cancer earlier, when treatments are more likely to be successful. The American Cancer Society recommends testing starting at age 45 for people at average risk. Some colorectal screening tests can also find and remove precancerous growths (polyps) in the colon or rectum. Polyps are not cancer, but over time cancer can start in the polyps. Removing them lowers the risk of cancer.

What are screening methods for colon cancer?

  • Colonoscopy is the gold standard screening method which directly visualize the gastrointestinal tract which is considered invasive procedure.
  • FIT – A fecal immunochemical test, is stool test to look for hidden blood in the stool which is a possible sign of colorectal cancer easy to do. The FIT test is a non-invasive screening test, but is not very sensitive nor specific as the gold standard test as many conditions can cause blood in the stool other than colorectal cancer.
  • FOBT- A guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) also detects blood in the stool but may also detect blood from further up the digestive tract, like from the stomach. A FIT test is more specific to detecting blood from the lower part of the gastrointestinal tract. Certain foods or drugs can also affect your results such as aspirin, ibuprofen, red meats, and vitamin C supplements, which may need to be avoided prior to taking this type of stool test for colorectal cancer screening.
  • A stool DNA (or FIT-DNA) test specifically looks for mutations of polyp DNA in your stool. The stool DNA test typically requires you to send an actual stool sample back to the lab for processing, but collection can still be performed at home. However, studies have shown that the specificity (true negative rate) is lower than that FIT—meaning there have been more positive results where a follow-up colonoscopy was negative.

What is ColoScape?

  • ColoScapeTM is a highly specific blood based test that detects 61 genetic mutations and 7 methylation markers that are specific to colorectal cancer.The test is used in addition to the recommended colon cancer screening guidelines and for patients at average risk ages 45-85 .

ColoScape™ was developed using novel XNA technology that detects high level of sensitivity and specificity for precancerous lesions before they progress into CRC. Xenonucleic acids, are innovative new nucleic acid molecular oligomers that hybridize with target DNA sequences and can be employed as molecular clamps in quantitative real-time polymerase chain reactions (qPCR). The XNA tightly bind to the wild-type sequence but loosely to the mutant sequences, thereby allowing mutant sequences to be amplified in a PCR reaction while blocking wild-type sequence amplification with utmost precision.

How does Coloscape compare to other tests ?

  • The requirement for a diagnostic test is that it should be specific to detect colorectal cancer as well at the same time be able to determine whether the patient has any precancerous lesions (Advanced Adenomas) that can eventually lead to colorectal cancer
  • The commonly used FIT test is a stool based test that has a high specificity to diagnosing CRC but the sensitivity to determine whether a patient has pre-cancerous lesions is only 42% which is relatively low.
  • Based on clinical studies that have been performed with the ColoScapeTM test the specificity of the test to detect CRC is 95-100%. The sensitivity of the test to pre-cancerous lesions is 66%.

Are there any restrictions prior to using ColoscapeTM test kit?

  • No. There are no customary restrictions on diet or medications prior to testing.

What will my results tell me?

  • Your ColoScapeTM results will be based on a SCORE that will rate your condition as high or low risk of colorectal cancer.

How can I view the results of the tests I have ordered?

  • Results can always be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF through our online portal, LABGEN (please see Labgen patient registration instructions included in your kit). By request, the results can also be sent by fax or regular mail.

How will I know when my test results are ready?

  • Throughout the ordering process, we keep you up-to-date on the status of your order by email. You can also log in to LabGen to track the progress of your test. When the analysis is complete, you will receive an email notifying you that results are now ready to be reviewed in LabGen and is required to call our customer service to connect you with our Clinical Team.
  • If you haven’t registered with Labgen, you can create an account for yourself, you can create an account at https://lims.diacarta.com/labgen/ or our support team can do this for you..
  • If you wish to have results mailed to you, these will be sent via mail the same or next business day following the notification email. If you have requested a faxed copy of your results, these will be sent shortly after the notification email is sent. Downloading the report directly from LabGen is the quickest, and most reliable, way to review and receive test results.

When can I expect results to be ready?

  • Our tests are completed within 5-7 days from the time the sample is received in the laboratory with all required information. Ordering online and providing complete clinical information facilitates the processing and interpretation of results.

What is the process for the ColoScape™ Colorectal cancer genetic mutation detection test?

What to expect after payment?

  • You will receive an email notification of payment confirmation.
  • The lab will mail the kit to you the next business day following receipt of payment.
  • Sample collection.
  • If you plan to visit one of our locations, please call them directly to schedule your appointment.
  • If you pefer to have your healthcare provider collect your sample, please call them directly.
  • If you ordered mobile sample collection, you will be contacted by the assigned healthcare professional to schedule your appointment.
  • You will receive an email when your results are available.

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Getting your ColoScape test completed is easy!

Step 1. Click any ‘Order Test Kit’ button on the website and ‘Add to Cart’.

1.a. Add ‘Mobile Collection’ (if so desired).

Step 2. Sample collection options below. 

Step 3. When your test kit arrives, return to our website to register the kit code to access your results when they are ready. You will be notified by email when your test result is available.

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