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At Home Colon Cancer Screening Providers: A Review of Price And Features

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    If you are over the age of 50, your physician likely has asked you to get a colorectal cancer screening test to assess your risk for developing cancer. Many physicians prefer you undergo a colonoscopy procedure which involves an internal investigation of your rectum and colon preceded by a bowel cleanse to screen for cancer.

    You may be hesitant, however, to get a colonoscopy due to its invasive nature and the intense bowel preparation beforehand. In these cases, physicians will often approve of an at-home colon cancer screening test for their colonoscopy-wary patients. These tests are effective at detecting blood in the stool that may indicate the presence of precancerous abnormal growths (known as polyps) and colon cancer. 

    You may be hesitant to get a colonoscopy due to its invasive nature and the intense bowel preparation beforehand. In these cases, physicians will approve of an at-home colon cancer screening test for their colonoscopy-wary patients.

    At-home colon cancer tests are typically affordable and allow you to collect sample in the comfort of your own homw.
    At home colorectal cancer tests are generally affordable and easy to use

    Types of At-Home Colon Cancer Tests

    There are currently three stool tests that are approved for colorectal cancer screening in the United States. These include:

    Fecal immunochemical test (FIT).  This test uses antibodies that specifically react with a blood protein in the stool. Physicians typically order the test to be repeated annually. 

    Guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT). Conducted yearly, the gFOBT uses a chemical (guiac) to detect microscopic amounts of blood in the stool. 

    Stool DNA test (also known as FIT-DNA test). The most current stool test combines the FIT test with a test that can detect abnormally mutated DNA in the stool. Unlike the FIT and gFOBT, a stool DNA test can be repeated every three years if no abnormalities are found. 

    People frequently prefer these tests over colonoscopies for the following reasons:

    • Test is done in the comfort of your own home
    • The test is noninvasive and requires no bowel preparation
    • Excepting the fecal occult blood test, you can eat and drink what you normally do before collecting the sample
    • You do not need sedation for the test
    • Stool tests are cheaper ($15-$600) than a colonoscopy (ranges between $1000-$8000)

    One of the primary advantages of a home cancer screening test is the cost. If you do not have health insurance, you are typically required to pay for the home cancer screening test and lab fees associated with the test out of pocket.

    One of the primary advantages of a home cancer screening test is the cost. If you do not have health insurance, you are typically required to pay for the home cancer screening test and lab fees associated with the test out of pocket. If this describes your situation, you may be wondering which at home colon cancer screening provider is best when comparing cost with quality. 

    Which At Home Colon Cancer Screening Provider Is Best?

    This article reviews several home colon cancer screening providers to give you an idea of the quality and cost of each test to help you decide which is best for you. In each review, you will learn about the company that produces the at home colon cancer test, what each test contains, and the pros and cons of each provider. 

    Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) Provider Reviews

    Everlywell FIT™ Colon Cancer Screening Test Review

    About

    • This health and wellness company sells several at-home lab testing kits to the public including the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) for colon cancer.
    • Once the lab tests the samples for the presence of hidden blood, the results are sent digitally to the customer. The results usually arrive within five days from the day the sample was received by the partner lab.

    Pros

    • Customers who purchase Everlywell’s test kits collect their samples at home and return the samples to a partner laboratory that is CLIA* (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) certified.

    *The FDA, CDC, and Center for Medicaid Services certifies a lab with a CLIA rating if the lab follows a high level of testing standards, including accuracy and precision. Being CLIA-certified assures the customer that the lab where their sample is analyzed follows high standards and is subjected to regular inspections

    • Everlywell complies with the federal HIPAA laws that protect the privacy of their customers’ health information and never sell data to third-party companies.
    • The company offers their customers the opportunity to consult with a physician via video or phone if they receive a positive test.
    • Everlywell test kits are generally affordable and contain discrete packaging for the customer to collect and send the samples.

    Cost

    • One kit: $49 

    Features

    The Everlywell FIT colon cancer screening test kit contains the following:

    • Instruction guide
    • Fecal test card
    • Brush kit
    • Waste bag
    • Prepaid return shipping label

    InSure® ONE™ Colon Screening Test Review

    About

    • Clinical Genomics manufactures the Insure® ONE fecal immunochemical test for colorectal cancer. The company also manufactures the blood test COLVERA® that detects abnormal DNA derived from colorectal cancer cell lines. 
    • Insure ONE is a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) used to detect blood in the stool caused by colorectal cancer, polyps, or large adenomas.

    Pros

    • The Insure ONE FIT test kit is the only test on the market that uses toilet water collected after a single bowel movement. This means that you simply need to brush the stool sample in your toilet with the long brush provided and brush the toilet water on the test card.
    • There are no dietary or medication restrictions that you need to follow before taking the test. The test is provided by a prescription from your physician and you can submit the test to your physician or laboratory for analysis. 

    Features

    The Insure ONE colon cancer screening test kit contains the following:

    • Instructions for use
    • Fecal test card
    • Brush kit with two brushes and two waste bags
    • Return envelope
    • Reply form with label

    Second Generation FIT™ Colon Cancer Test Review

    About

    • The Second Generation FIT home screening test kit is manufactured by Pinnacle Biolabs, a private laboratory company certified by the US Food and Drug Administration to sell at-home diagnostic tests.
    • Pinnacle sells over-the-counter test kits for colorectal cancer and prescription kits ordered through physicians and hospitals in the United States and globally.

    Pros

    • The Second Generation FIT test has a high degree of sensitivity for detecting polyps and colorectal cancer.
    • Patients do not need to alter their diet or stop taking medications
    • People who purchase the Second Generation FIT test kit are able to collect the stool sample at home and receive instant results.
    • Customers report finding the instructions easy to follow and are pleased that the test is non-invasive and does not require them to avoid any foods or medications.
    • Drug stores sell the over-the-counter version of the test and the cost is cheaper than the Everlywell FIT test kit. 

    Cost

    One kit: $25.00

    Two tests: $30-40

    Features

    The Second Generation FIT colon cancer screening test kit contains the following:

    • Patient instructions
    • Fecal test card
    • 2 long-handles brushes for stool sampling
    • 1 waste disposal bags
    • Self- addressed and prepaid return envelope 

    EZ Detect™ Stool Blood Test Review

    About

    • The company Bioamerica manufactures EZ Detect, the least expensive colorectal cancer screening test on the market.
    • Bioamerica produces several diagnostic tests for detecting conditions and diseases such as diabetes, cancer, infertility, and allergies. 
    • Bioamerica sell their diagnostic tests to physicians, hospitals, and can be found over-the-counter in stores and online.
    • The EZ Detect blood stool test is sold in most major drugstores in the United States. You can also order the test online.

    Pros

    • The FDA has cleared the blood stool test to be purchased by individuals over the counter (without a prescription).
    • You do not need to restrict your diet or stop taking medications. 

    Cost

    One kit: $8.00 

    Features

    The EZ DETECT™ Stool Blood  test kit contains the following:

    • Instruction guide
    • Foil pouch containing five test tissues
    • 1 Positive Control package
    • Test result post card to mail results to your physician or lab

    LetsGetChecked™ Colon Cancer Screening Test Review

    About

    • LetsGetChecked was founded in 2014 to sell at home diagnostic tests for the general public.
    • The company partners with lab facilities that are CLIA, INAB (Irish National Accreditation Board), CPA (Composite Panel Association), or CAP (College of American Pathologists) certified. 
    • The colon cancer screen test is similar to other blood stool tests. The tests are affordable, samples are taken at home, and results are returned within 5 days of the lab receiving the stool sample. If you have any questions you can chat with an online consultant before buying the test kit. 

    Cost

    One kit: $69

    Features

    The LetsGetChecked® colon cancer screening test kit contains the following:

    • Instruction guide
    • Fecal test card
    • Brush kit
    • Waste bag
    • Prepaid return shipping label

    Pixel by LabCorp™ Colorectal Cancer At-Home Test Review

    About

    • LabCorp, the company that manufactures the Pixel FIT screening test, is one of the largest clinical laboratory networks in the world and has 36 primary laboratories all over the United States.
    • The Pixel FIT test is one of the more expensive colorectal cancer screening kits on the market but is backed by an accredited scientific company that prides itself in excellence. 
    • The stool test requires that a person collects a sample from home and mail the sample to a lab for analysis.  

    Pros

    • There are no restrictions on diet nor medications before taking the test.
    • If you choose to purchase the Pixel FIT test, you have access to PWNHealth, an independent physician partner group that offers consultations if you get a positive result.
    • Your results are provided digitally at the Pixel website and you can download the results and discuss them with your physician.

    Cost

    One kit: $99 

    Features

    The Pixel by Labcorp colon cancer screening test kit contains the following:

    • Instruction guide
    • Sample collection device
    • Waste bag
    • Self-addressed envelope 
    • Prepaid return shipping label

    Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) Provider Reviews

    Hemoccult™ Colon Cancer Screening Review

    About

    • Hemoccult is manufactured by Beckman Coulter, a company that specializes in the innovation of biomedical tests.
    • This fecal occult blood test detects blood in stool samples to help identify bleeding polyps or adenomas.
    • There are several types of Hemoccult tests available on the market, including Hemoccult II, Hemoccult ICT, and Hemoccult Sensa.
    • If you are paying out-of-pocket, ask your physician how much it costs as it is available by prescription only. 

    Pros

    • People who use Hemoccult tests do not have to restrict their diets or medications.
    • The test itself is stable for up to two weeks after taking the test and has a high clinical sensitivity.
    • The test is typically covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and by most health insurance providers.

    Cost

    One kit: Available by prescription only. 

    Features

    The Hemoccult colon cancer screening test kit contains the following:

    • Instruction guide
    • Fecal test card
    • Brush kit
    • Waste bag
    • Prepaid return shipping label

    Clarity™ Colon Cancer Test Review

    About

    • Clarity is manufactured by Clarity Diagnostics, LLC, a company that produces diagnostic tests and equipment and over-the-counter rapid diagnostic tests.
    • If you are paying out-of-pocket, ask your physician how much it costs as it is available by prescription only. 

    Pros

    • The Clarity fecal occult blood test, like all FOBTs, does not require you to restrict your diet or stop taking any medications. The test is typically covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and by most health insurance providers.

    Cost

    One kit: Available by prescription only

    Features

    The Clarity colon cancer screening test kit contains the following:

    • Instruction guide
    • Fecal test card
    • Brush kit
    • Waste bag
    • Prepaid return shipping label

    Cologuard™ Screening Test Review

    About

    • Cologuard is manufactured by Exact Sciences that specializes in the detection of early stage cancers and molecular diagnostics. Cologuard was the first early cancer detection test released by Exact Sciences in 2014.
    • This colorectal screening test is a combination of two tests, the fecal immunochemical test and a DNA screening for abnormal cancer cells.
    • Lab pathologists test stool samples for increased levels of mutated or altered DNA biomarkers that are found in colon cells that have shed from the intestinal lining. These biomarkers indicate the presence of colorectal cancer or precancerous tumors known as adenomas.
    • Samples are also be tested for the presence of the globin protein found in blood using the antibody test, fecal immunochemical test (FIT).  

    Cost

    Available by prescription only.

    One kit:$599 

    Features

    The Cologuard colon cancer screening test kit contains the following:

    • Instruction guide
    • Fecal test card
    • Brush kit
    • Waste bag
    • Prepaid return shipping label

    References

    Ancrum, S. (2020, August 10). Everylywell review: Pros, cons, and how it works. Retrieved from Farr Institute: https://www.farrinstitute.org/everlywell-review/

    Cooper, L. (2016, December 01). At-home colon cancer tests: What you need to know. Retrieved from Consumer Reports: https://www.consumerreports.org/colonoscopy/at-home-colon-cancer-tests/

    Rabeneck, L., et., al. (2012, March 01). Fecal immunochemical tests compared with guaiac fecal occult blood tests for population-based colorectal cancer screening. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology, 26(3), 131-147. Retrieved from Europe PMC:http://europepmc.org/article/PMC/3299236

    Watson, R. (2020, August 03). Cologuard for cancer screening: What you need to know. Retrieved from Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/cologuard

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