Colon Cancer Tests by Mail Might Boost Screening

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay reporter

MONDAY, July 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Want to increase colon cancer screening rates? Send test kits to patients’ homes, new study finds.

Colon cancer is easily diagnosed through routine screening, such as colonoscopies and home stool tests.

But despite recommendations that adults get tested between the ages of 50 and 75, more than 33% of Americans are not up to date with testing.

Ways to increase screening include sending test reminders and sending fecal immunochemical test (FIT) kits to detect blood in the stool.

For the study, the researchers sent a reminder or reminder to 35,000 Medicaid patients aged 52 to 64 who were overdue for colon cancer screening and a FIT screening kit.

Over one year, the number of colon cancer screenings, including FITs and screening colonoscopies, was higher for the booster plus FIT group (23%) than for the booster-only group (16%) , the researchers found.

Mail-in screening kits cost just $ 116 more per person screened, which is within the acceptable range of what policymakers would pay for an additional person screened for colon cancer, the researchers noted.

The report was published online July 20 in the journal Cancer.

“By investing in sending the test kits with the reminder letters, health services should be able to screen more people for colorectal cancer at relatively low incremental costs, and Medicaid organizations should actually reduce costs by additional person screened, ”said researcher Dr. Stephanie Wheeler of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“This analysis provides strong evidence that health services and payers like Medicaid can dramatically improve colorectal cancer screening in low-income and medically underserved populations at a reasonable cost, even on limited budgets, through the implementing FIT programs mailed out, ”Wheeler said in a newspaper press release.

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SOURCE:Cancer, press release, July 20, 2020

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