This chart of 5 year survival when diagnosed with colon cancer sums it up perfectly. The earlier the stage a tumor is diagnosed, the better one's chance of living.
If a tumor of the colon can be found before it has spread (stage 1 & 2), then usually it can be removed thereby leaving the patient cancer free. However, treating a patient whose colon cancer has already spread (stage 3 & 4), it is far more complicated and most importantly the prognosis is usually much worse.
For the last few decades the standard screening test had patients collect their stool and then sent it to a lab to check for blood. Having patients collect a stool sample understandably has impacted compliance. This is not a diagnostic test, as blood can be present in the stool for many reasons in addition to cancer, such as a bleeding ulcer, or a hemorrhoid etc. The biggest problem with this test is that early stage tumors may not be bleeding and therefore can be easily missed.
The last few years we have had the option of colon screening using the stool that in addition to blood, also checked for DNA fragments from tumors. The accuracy has improved and there are fewer false positives. The challenge with this newer stool screening test is that it is many times more expensive than traditional stool testing for blood.
At the same time a physician does a pap smear test for women, they can easily collect a small amount of rectal mucus in order to perform our screening test. For men, the rectal mucus can be collected while a physician conducts a digital prostate exam. Ideally the rectal mucus would be collected during an annual or physical exam. Compliance should be better than traditional colon screens for blood, as patients do not have to collect their stool sample and send it to a lab for processing.
Once the mucus sample is collected, it only takes approximately 15 minutes to get the results back. Physicians and their patient can then decide if further testing such as a colonoscopy is necessary.
In the 1st trial below, the results show the test's sensitivity and specificity are both very accurate. In addiction, it validated the field effect phenomenon discovered by Professor Shamsuddin. Patients that still tested positive for the altered sugar after having the primary tumor removed, had a high risk of tumor recurrence within a year.
The researchers in the second trial below knew that previous clinical trials showed that the test for altered sugars was very sensitive and designed the clinical trial to determine if the test was also highly specific. The specificity was found to be 92%.
The researchers in the 3rd trial shown below validated earlier clinical trial results that showed 80% or greater specificity and sensitivity.
Easy to perform - results in minutes, before patients leave the office