colonoscopy

First At-Home DNA Test for Colon Cancer Approved

Posted on 08/12/2014 by |Personal Health and Well-being | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new DNA-based screening test for colon cancer that has 90 percent accuracy and can be taken at home. Called Cologuard and manufactured by Exact Sciences Inc., the test is the first of its kind to get an OK from federal regulators. The test uses a stool sample to detect the presence of blood and DNA mutations that may indicate cancerous and precancerous growths in the colon. A doctor’s prescription is needed, …

Cost Barriers Persist for Colonoscopy Screening In Medicare

Posted on 01/15/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteThousands of people in the United States die every year from colorectal cancer—cancer of the colon or rectum. That’s astonishing because colorectal cancer is almost entirely preventable by use of recommended screening tests. Yet, in 2008, less than two-thirds of all people ages 65 and older had the screening. Medicare pays for several types of screening tests, including colonoscopy which is considered the best test for early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer. Colonoscopy allows for removal of polyps and …

You Won’t Believe What They Found on Colonoscopy Instruments

Posted on 06/12/2013 by |Personal Health and Well-being | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthIt’s hard enough convincing people to have a colonoscopy because of the laxative and liquids-only prep regimen you need to undergo the day before. Now a study at five hospitals nationwide finds that three out of 20 endoscopes (pictured at right) that are inserted in the rectum to examine the colon for cancer retained bits of “biological dirt” from past patients, putting people at risk for hepatitis and infection. “Three out of 20 is an unexpectedly high number of endoscopes …

Colonoscopies and Seniors: What to Do?

Posted on 03/22/2013 by |Caregiving | Comments

CaregivingFollowing up my last post — Learning to Say No to Doctors — I was interested to read results of a new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association that reported up to 38 percent of colonoscopies performed on those between 76 to 85 years old (and almost 25 percent of those over 86) were potentially inappropriate under existing guidelines. I take a personal interest in this procedure because colon cancer played a significant role in my …

Can A ‘Death Test’ Predict When You’ll Die?

Posted on 03/6/2013 by |Personal Health and Well-being | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthIt’s not exactly a crystal ball, but researchers have developed a simple “mortality index” — you might call it a death test — to figure out an older person’s risk of dying in the next 10 years. The 12-question test was developed for doctors to use on their patients age 50 and older. Some of the questions might strike you as the “well, duh” variety — do you have a malignant tumor? chronic lung disease? congestive heart failure? — while …

Free Colonoscopy Coverage Means Polyps, Too

Posted on 02/25/2013 by |Personal Health and Well-being | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthA routine colonoscopy was supposed to be free under the new health care law, but then insurers began charging if doctors found and removed a polyp during the procedure. That’s a no-no, announced the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week, in an effort to clear up confusion about this and other medical tests that should be considered free preventive care, the Associated Press reported. In the notice posted on the HHS website, the agency explained that “polyp …