Testing for Colon Cancer

Q.My boyfriend’s father had colon cancer (not of the genetic variety). My boyfriend has had some inconsistencies with his bowel movements (urgency, diarrhea and constipation).

He is opposed to having a rectal exam done. Is there a blood test available to test for colon cancer? Are there any other alternate ways of testing for it?

Elizabeth

A.The vast majority of cases of colon cancer are not of the genetic variety, and are known as sporadic. I assume you say your friend’s father’s case is not genetic because no one else in his family has had colon cancer.

Even so, regardless of your friend’s symptoms, his father’s medical history means he will need to have screening exams (colonoscopy) done to look for polyps or cancer.