Take comfort if you receive a negative result.If the result of your stool test comes back as negative for blood (or DNA), you can take confidence in knowing that your risk of colon cancer at this time is very low.,
Proceed with a colonoscopy if you receive a positive result.If the result of your stool test comes back positive, you will need to proceed with further investigations at this time.,
Understand that a positive stool test (the self-screening test for colon cancer) does not necessarily mean you have cancer.It is important not to get overly worried about a screening test.
Of course, no test is perfect, so there is always the slight possibility of a testing error, but more likely than not you are not at risk. Your doctor will advise you to proceed with your life as normal. No further testing will be indicated at this time.
The stool test is generally repeated every one to two years for people 50 and older, in order to ensure regular screening.Make a note to yourself to follow up with your family doctor again at this time for a repeat stool test.
, The next step is a colonoscopy, which is where a tube is inserted through the anus all the way up your colon so that your doctor can directly visualize the walls of the colon and look for any suspicious lesions or polyps. If there are any, these can be biopsied at the time of the test and evaluated under the microscope for the presence of cancer.If your colonoscopy shows nothing suspicious, you are in the clear and safe to go on with life as normal.
If your colonoscopy reveals colon cancer, you will need to consult a medical oncologist (a cancer specialist) about how best to treat you colon cancer.
, This is because the purpose of the screening test is not to diagnose cancer, but rather, to figure out who is at a higher risk and as such needs to have a colonoscopy (which is the official diagnostic test).
If you test positive for blood in your stool, there is a chance that you have colon cancer, but it is not diagnostic.
If possible, try not to worry too much until you have followed through with the actual colonoscopy.
Also, the good news is that, if you receive regular screening, colon cancer can be caught early in the stages where it can be treated and cured (90% of colon cancers caught early are able to be cured).