Spots of blood after bowel movements, stomach ache and protracted episodes of diarrhea may be symptoms of early-onset colorectal cancer, which is increasingly diagnosed in young adults who are ineligible for colonoscopies.
The most concerning early indicator of colon cancer is rectal bleeding, which is taboo to talk about outside the bathroom. According to Dr. Matthew Kalady in a recent NBC News article, head of the division of colon and rectal surgery at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, "It can be difficult or embarrassing to talk about." However, he added, "the reality is that everyone deals with something like this," and it's crucial to know what's typical and what isn't.
5,075 people with early-onset colorectal cancer were included in the new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, which was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The intention was to identify symptoms that could serve as warning signs for colorectal cancer, a condition that has been rising in younger individuals in recent years but whose alarmingly high rate of late-stage diagnosis warrants concern. The percentage of colorectal cancer diagnoses involving individuals under 55 quadrupled from 1995 to 2019, from 11% to 20%, according to the American Cancer Society.
Up to two years before a colon cancer diagnosis, the current study identified four different signals:
- Abdominal pain;
- Rectal bleeding;
- Ongoing diarrhea; and
- Anemia due to iron deficiency.
At least one of the symptoms, which could have started up to two years prior to a diagnosis, was experienced by participants.
However, a colonoscopy is only advised at or after age 45. This implies that patients may have symptoms for a long time before seeking medical attention or receiving a colon cancer diagnosis, which is treatable if discovered early.
The study's lead author, Dr. Cassandra Fritz, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of gastrointestinal at the Washington University School of Medicine, said, "As patients, we kind of brush these things away."
At least one of such symptoms was present in nearly half of the study subjects three months before their diagnoses. Additional symptoms increased the likelihood of a cancer diagnosis.
According to fellow author Yin Cao, an associate professor of surgery in the department of public health sciences at Washington University School of Medicine, the study indicates an "alarming problem" for young adults and the medical professionals who treat them. “Young folks need to be aware of these indicators,” Cao stated in an interview. "This is the message we are making loud and clear.”
A non-invasive, quick, easy, and accurate colorectal detection test is available from Mainz Biomed. Stool tests are more accurate than blood tests and may be performed in the comfort of your own home, making them a more practical choice, the company stated.
In addition to early colon cancer detection, on May 10, Mainz Biomed announced a partnership with Microba Life Sciences to develop PancAlert. The combination of DNA and microbiome biomarkers can potentially improve the technical profile of a novel pancreatic cancer screening test. A collaborative research initiative is underway to identify disease-specific microbiome biomarkers. With ColoAlert already out in the market, PancAlert looks to be another monumental tool helping save lives from pancreatic cancer.
The company's core product, ColoAlert, is an at-home colorectal cancer screening kit with high sensitivity and specificity. Patients are given a basic kit with directions, a stool collector, and mailing instructions to mail the kit back to their local lab for testing and results.
This non-invasive test can identify malignancies earlier than fecal occult blood tests by analyzing tumor DNA, the company stated.
ColoAlert, a stool test that uses PCR technology, finds more cases of colorectal cancer than traditional stool tests and enables early detection, according to the company. Through a network of top independent laboratories, corporate health initiatives and direct sales, this screening test is CE-marked and commercially available in several European countries.
To receive commercial approval in the US, ColoAlert will be examined in the FDA-registered trial "ReconAAsense." Once licensed in the United States, the Company's commercial objective is to build scalable distribution across the nation through a cooperative partner program with local and national laboratory service providers.
For the processing of the ColoAlert PCR test kit, Mainz Biomed has expanded its network of lab partners to include Eurofins GeLaMed. A division of the global laboratory corporation Eurofins Scientific, which does 450 million tests annually and employs over 61,000 people in 61 nations, is Eurofins GeLaMed. Germany is home to four of its locations.
Eurofins GeLaMed offers diagnostics in human genetics, medical microbiology, laboratory medicine and molecular diagnostics across eleven medical specialties. The more than 500 staff of GeLaMed process more than 15,000 orders daily and offer more than 2,000 analytical procedures from their portfolios in laboratory medicine and microbiology, all under the supervision of medical specialists.
Marcus Cholewa, director of clinical diagnostics for Eurofins Business Line in DACH, expressed enthusiasm for the partnership between Mainz Biomed and Eurofins GeLaMed because Eurofins consistently offers the highest levels of quality, customer service and the most thorough testing methodologies. Additionally, he said that Eurofins has a track record of providing innovative and high-quality diagnostic testing solutions and that by collaborating, they could detect colorectal cancer and give patients individualized information to help them manage their health.
To raise awareness of the importance of early screening for CRC identification and prevention, Mainz Biomed said it will support physician and patient education programs during March Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and Eurofins GeLaMed will provide ColoAlert at its testing locations.
In order to raise awareness of the importance of early screening for CRC identification and prevention, Mainz Biomed said it will support physician and patient education programs during March Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and Eurofins GeLaMed will provide ColoAlert at its testing locations.
Additionally, Mainz Biomed has expanded its network of lab partners across Europe and a few overseas markets by including the Instituto de Microecologia in Madrid.
For more than 60 years, the Instituto de Microecologia has been a leader in the study of the microbiota and food sensitivity, emphasizing the importance of intestinal health through microbiological investigation, microbiota profile diagnosis and specialized health indicators. The company's ongoing expansion in Europe may be seen in Mainz Biomed's entry into the market and commercialization in Spain and Portugal.