Colorectal Cancer Screening Lab Tests
These tests are meant for persons with Average Risk. These are not meant for patients
with personal/family history of colon cancer/polyps or those with certain symptoms,
medical conditions or genetic diseases. Wait periods (intervals) are valid whether or not a
patient has a personal or family history of colon cancer or colon polyps, unless a test
result is abnormal.
Interval: One Year
Tests that check for blood in a patient’s stool are typically called Fecal Occult Blood Test
(FOBT) or Fecal immunochemical Test (FIT). They may also be called Hemoccult Test
or Guaiac Test. With this test, you must wait One Year before having any another
“Screening” test done, including a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy. (CPT: G0327,
G0328, G0107, 82270)
Interval: Three Years
Cologuard is a stool-DNA screening test for detecting colon cancer. This test looks for
changes in the patient’s DNA that could indicate the presence of colon cancer or
precancerous polyps. With this test, the patient must wait Three Years before having any
another “Screening” test done, including a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy. (CPT:
What Does This Mean?
Just like each patient is unique, each patient’s insurance plan and health circumstances are unique as well. The information provided here is a generalization and specific details for each patient.
If a patient has an FOBT/FIT or similar guaiac/occult type of stool test that may be done during a rectal exam, prostate exam or even a gyn exam. These types of test may even be given as kits to patients by a healthcare provider, insurance or laboratory in the office, the mail or in a medical office. Once this test is completed and if the result is negative (normal) that the countdown starts for one year until the patient will be eligible next colon cancer screening test. This count down starts whether a patient is low risk, or high risk due to a personal or family history of colon cancer or colon polyps and as long as the patient does not have any symptoms. In the event that the test result is positive (blood is found) then the patient is likely to be scheduled for a colonoscopy, which will be diagnostic due to the abnormal finding.
This is just one of many variations of circumstances of how or when you may be due for your next colorectal cancer screening test. In all there are 3 commonly used Screening tests and each has a different interval (waiting period). If it best to discuss your individual circumstances with your Gastroenterology office to make the best determination for your Plan of Care.