SCREENING FOR DIGESTIVE DISORDERS & CANCER
Digestive screening aims to detect digestive disorder & cancer before symptoms appear. This may involve blood tests, urine tests, other tests, or medical imaging. The benefits of screening in terms of digestive disorder & cancer prevention, early detection and subsequent treatment must be weighed against any harms.
HOW DO YOU GET TESTED FOR DIGESTIVE DISORDER & CANCER?
Examples of blood tests used to diagnose digestive disorder & cancer include:
- Complete blood count (CBC). This common blood test measures the amount of various types of blood cells in a sample of your blood. …
- Blood protein testing. …
- Tumor marker tests. …
- Circulating tumor cell tests.
WHAT IS THE SCREENING TEST?
Screening tests are laboratory tests that help to identify people with increased risk for a condition or disease before they have symptoms or even realize they may be at risk so that preventive measures can be taken. They are an important part of preventive health care.
SCREENING TESTS THAT HAVE BEEN SHOWN TO REDUCE DIGESTIVE DISORDER & CANCER DEATHS
- Colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and high-sensitivity fecal occult blood tests (FOBTs)
These tests have all been shown to reduce deaths from colorectal cancer. Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy also help prevent colorectal cancer because they can detect abnormal colon growths (polyps) that can be removed before they develop into cancer. Expert groups generally recommend that people who are at average risk for colorectal have screening at ages 50 through 75. For more information, see the Tests to Detect Colorectal Cancer and Polyps fact sheet and the PDQ® Colorectal Cancer Screening summary.
- Alpha-fetoprotein blood test
This test is sometimes used, along with ultrasound of the liver, to try to detect liver cancer early in people at high risk of the disease. For more information, see the PDQ® Liver (Hepatocelluar) Screening summary.
- Virtual colonoscopy
This test allows the colon and rectum to be examined from outside the body. However, it has not been shown to reduce deaths from colorectal. For more information, see the Tests to Detect Colorectal and Polyps fact sheet and the PDQ® Colorectal Cancer Screening summary.