New way to screen for colon cancer in the future?
Cancer Prevention Research
Let’s face it-a colonoscopy is not one of our favorite things to do (unless you are a gastroenterologist). However, as of today it is still the absolute best way to screen and detect colon cancer at an early stage. This study, called The Human Gut Microbiome looks at the bacteria in the gut as a marker for developing colon cancer. They looked at 30 healthy people and compared their gut bacteria to 30 patients with precancerous colon polyps and 30 patients already diagnosed with colon cancer. What they found was when combined with other risk factors like race, age and BMI (weight) there was a 5-fold increase in their ability to detect invasive colon and rectal cancer based on the bacteria make up alone.
Their conclusions were that, although it is too early to tell if this will ever replace colonoscopies, that eventually it could lead to a 50-fold increase in polyp and cancer detection.