There is a new tool in the fight against colon cancer available in Saskatchewan.
The locally developed, non-invasive screening method called COLOGIC is a simple blood test that measures chemicals linked to colon cancer. The lower the chemical levels are, the more likely the chance someone will develop the disease.
"The major thing that’s different about this test is that it’s a risk assessment. So it’s looking at your risk for colon cancer instead of just looking for a tumour," explained Alix Hayden, Director or Operations of Phenomenome Discoveries, the company which developed this new test.
Maureen Bingham and Terrell Fentiman were among the first people to undergo the new screening model. Both Bingham and Fentiman have family history of colorectal cancer.
"It’s reassuring to know that your risk isn’t extra-ordinarily high, and if it is high that you have found out as soon as you possibly can so you can do something about it," said Bingham.
"To be able to recognize I’m at a high risk for cancer and find it early, I think that’s obviously the key to stick around for my kids," said Fentiman, who lost his 42-year-old father to colon cancer.
t’s estimated 80 per cent of people who should be screened for colon cancer are never tested. And, for many, by the time they are diagnosed, the disease is already in its advanced stages. So, there are high hopes offering this simple blood test can make a major difference.
The COLOGIC test is not intended to replace other screening methods such as the fecal test or colonoscopy, but to add another option, especially for those at high-risk.
The COLOGIC test is recommended to be taken every 2 years. It costs $95 and is not currently paid for by the province.