SALT LAKE CITY, March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and an ideal time to highlight the importance of colon health and screening. Doctors recommend that everyone age 50 and up participate in regular colorectal cancer screening, but since approximately half the population opts out, nearly 40 million Americans are left unscreened every year.
Because colon cancer has a 91 percent early detection survival rate, physicians and families alike should take the time this month to discuss preventive measures for colorectal cancer, especially to those who are unwilling or unable to have a colonoscopy.
ARUP Laboratories, a national reference laboratory, has developed a safe, blood-based alternative to colonoscopy; although this test is not meant to replace colonoscopy, it is a convenient, high-quality alternative for those who refuse standard screening.
The Septin 9 methylated DNA test measures if colorectal tumor DNA, which can be detected even in the earliest stages of colorectal cancer, is present in a patient's bloodstream. The SEPT9 gene is detected using a highly sensitive and specific molecular test that preferentially identifies methylated SEPT9 DNA. ARUP's test is more accurate than any fecal test, as well as alternative Septin9 blood-based tests developed by other companies for colorectal cancer detection. ARUP's method has a 90 percent overall sensitivity and 88 percent specificity in detecting colorectal cancer in patients of all stages.
"This test ensures that everyone, even our special populations, has an option for colorectal cancer screening. Even conservative organizations, such as the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force and the American Academy of Family Practice, recommend colon cancer screening," said Dr. Edward Ashwood, president and CEO of ARUP Laboratories.
Founded in 1984, ARUP Laboratories is a leading national reference laboratory and a nonprofit enterprise of the University of Utah and its Department of Pathology. ARUP offers more than 3,000 tests and test combinations, ranging from routine screening tests to esoteric molecular and genetic assays. ARUP serves clients across the United States, including many of the nation's top university teaching hospitals and children's hospitals, as well as multihospital groups, major commercial laboratories, group purchasing organizations, military and other government facilities, and major clinics. In addition, ARUP is a worldwide leader in innovative laboratory research and development, led by the efforts of the ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology®.
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SOURCE ARUP Laboratories