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Benefits and potential harms

Some of the benefits of the home screening test include:

  • You can do the test at home.

  • Completing this test and any follow-up test may find polyps or colon cancer in its early stages, when treatment is most effective. Removing polyps can prevent cancer from developing.

  • Screening with the home screening test can reduce deaths from colon cancer by up to 25%.

The home screening test alone has little risk or harm. An abnormal test result leads to a follow up test such as colonoscopy (pdf) that have more risk.

The home screening test is not perfect:

  • It may say there is blood when there really is none and this may result in unnecessary further testing.

  • It may miss blood in a sample and possibly miss a diagnosis of polyps or cancer.

Some polyps and colon cancers do not bleed. Therefore, the home screening test will not detect all polyps or cancer.

 

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