Narrator: This is Science Today. Government research has found that the two most widely used screening tests for colon cancer - blood tests and sigmoidoscopy, which is an examination of the lower colon - missed one-quarter of the precancerous growths and tumors detected by colonoscopy. Dr. Charles Theuer of the University of California, Irvine, agrees with the research findings that colonoscopy is the 'gold standard' test for colon cancer.
Theuer: Colonoscopy goes one step further than sigmoidoscopy because it goes and looks at the entire colon. It's actually - in my opinion - the best test for that reason. It looks for polyps and cancers in the whole colon and gives you the best chance of preventing colon cancer from starting.
Narrator: This year, colorectal cancer will kill over 56 thousand Americans and over 135 thousand others will be diagnosed with the disease.
Theuer: Whenever I talk to groups, I make the first point that one in 20 people will get colon cancer and the groups I talk to always have more than 20 people and I just try to make people realize that it's going to affect you or someone in your family or someone you know who you're close to. It's that common of a disease.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.