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Study: Colorectal cancer testing may become more affordable

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

Optical technology could become the new cost-effective testing procedure for physicians and patients to detect small colorectal polyps during colonoscopies, according to new research.

The British study, published in the November 10 issue of The Lancet Oncology, examines diagnoses of 363 small colorectal polyps in 130 patients in order to determine the effectiveness of optical technology.

Researchers found that optical technology allowed doctors to accurately locate up to 93 percent of small polyps. Currently, most physicians use histopathology, which finds about the same percentage of polyps as the new technology, but requires more testing of tissue and can become expensive.

The report notes that the use of optical technology instead of histopathology could save $95 million a year in the U.S.

"Optical diagnosis for small colonic polyps could become an acceptable standard of care in routine non-academic clinical practice," said the study's authors.

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer will kill an estimated 49,920 people in the U.S. each year. However, early detection and advanced testing methods may prevent deaths by allowing doctors to remove pre-cancerous polyps.

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