from Bartholomeo Eustachi: Tabulae anatomicae
So if I expect you to regularly listen, I’d better not sound the same note, but skip from one tune to another. Because repetition is boring. But sometimes a shoe is left dangling, such as when I wrote about the Cologuard colon cancer test on Sept. 8.
Reaction fell into two camps. Those grateful to learn of this new way to detect colon cancer with a home test. And those concerned with aspects I didn’t address.
“Your comprehensive article on Cologuard does not cover the most obvious question — how many false positives? False negatives?” wrote Dr. Robert W. Brandstatter, a North Side dentist.
“We have no real data to help guide patients and clinicians with what to do after a Cologuard test is done,” wrote Dr. Tibor Krisko, a New York gastroenterologist and assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical in New York City. “If positive, a colonoscopy is clearly warranted (though there is evidence to suggest many people with positive results do not get the all-important, potentially life-saving colonoscopy).”
The traditional colonoscopy — a doctor snakes a tiny camera into your intestines to look for tumors — has drawbacks. You must go to a hospital, risky in the age of COVID. You’re under general anesthesia, also presenting risks. Doctors might perforate your colon with the probe. The procedure is uncomfortable, time-consuming and expensive. So 40% of adults skip the test, despite its big benefit: detecting cancer when early and treatable instead of advanced and lethal.
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