Stool examination: is it effective in preventing colorectal cancer?

The number of cancer cases is increasing all over the world and is causing concern for health authorities. More than 200 types of cancer are already registered, which can affect all areas of the human body.

Among them is colorectal cancer, or bowel cancer, one of the most incident in the world and affecting men and women.

It is a dangerous cancer because in the early stages it may not show symptoms, which makes diagnosis even more difficult. With treatment and early diagnosis, the chances of curing the disease are greater.

However, even before starting any type of treatment, it is necessary to confirm the diagnosis, through tests and examinations – in this case, the most suitable is colonoscopy.

But that is where a new study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine , which studied how immunochemical fecal tests can help to identify the disease, comes in.

Because it is faster and simpler than conventional tests, this type of test is able to detect blood in the patient’s stool , a common symptom of the disease that, in some cases, goes unnoticed.

Proven efficacy in studies

The study analyzed the efficiency of the test when detecting the disease. In patients with a medium risk of getting colorectal cancer, the assertiveness of the test was 91%.

For this result, pictures of more than 120,000 patients were analyzed as and then two types of procedures were performed, stool examination and colonoscopy.

Scientists also came to the conclusion that the test is also seen as a good option to prevent the increase in cases of cancer deaths, which may also help in cases of patients who are not willing to undergo a colonoscopy exam.

As it is simpler and more practical, the new discovery can help in the diagnosis, because the test can be done more frequently, and the colonoscopy exam is recommended every 10 years.

But it is still important to talk to a doctor about this matter, as he will be responsible for ordering tests.

The colonoscopy exam

Many people have a distorted view of colonoscopy, because the way the test is performed can be uncomfortable for the patient.

The exam aims to check for damage or damage to the intestinal wall through the use of an endoscope inserted through the rectal canal.

This device has a camera that captures images of the interior of these organs. During the procedure, the patient remains sedated.

Although stool examination is a diagnostic option, it must be taken into account that it is only a complement to the examination.

This is because colonoscopy is more assertive in detecting polyps (abnormal growth of the intestinal mucosa, which can develop into cancer).

It is important to emphasize that when we talk about health and a type of cancer, it is in third place among those that kill the most in Brazil, that is why it is so important to be aware and prevent it.

Stool examination, or immunochemical fecal testing, is an option for primary care aimed at preventing bowel cancer.

But it is worth remembering that the colonoscopy exam is also important to detect this disease, especially if you have risk factors.