Patient error makes 1 in 10 home colon cancer tests unusable

A new study indicates that despite the availability of at-home colon cancer tests, many of them are unusable because of mistakes made by the patient. The study suggests that there are multiple reasons contributing to the unsatisfactory results, such as inadequate stool specimen, incomplete sample labeling, improper storage, or broken specimen containers. The study found that the failure rates were higher amongst male, Black, Spanish-speaking, or Medicaid patients, and particularly those who received the kits in the mail rather than from a healthcare professional. Better patient education, improved test-tracking procedures, and timely follow-up are recommended to address this issue. The study was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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