WASHINGTON (AP) - A panel of experts is looking to a cheap,
at-home test kit as a way to increase the number of people who get screened for the nation's No. 2 cancer killer.
The specialists, convened by the National Institutes of Health,
pointed to California health care giant Kaiser Permanente's
(per-MAH'-nehn-tayz) program to track down those due for colon
cancer screening and mail them the $20 kits that test stool for
It's an alternative to the uncomfortable colonoscopy some hope
will mean more people get screened for the disease. Everyone is
supposed to get screened for colorectal cancer starting at age 50,
but U.S. data shows just 55 percent do.
But some five years after Kaiser's program began, its screening
rates rose from just about 40 percent to 75 percent.
The NIH panel concluded that people should pick the screening
option best for their own needs.