According to a study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, offering a blood test to people who have declined both a colonoscopy and a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) increased colorectal cancer (CRC) screening by 7.5% without decreasing use of the preferred first-line options.
The study enrolled 359 veterans at a Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center. Participants were 50–75 years old and were eligible for screening but had declined a colonoscopy and a stool test within the previous 6 months. The blood test is easy to perform and requires only a few tubes of blood, no diet restrictions, test prep, or contact with stool is necessary. However, the number of people in the study who subsequently underwent timely colonoscopy after a positive blood test did not increase, signaling a continuing challenge in CRC prevention and treatment.