NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Colonoscopies are still considered to be the standard of care for detecting colon cancer, but now at-home tests are equipped with more technology to detect the signs of colon cancer.

Only 60% of people eligible for colon cancer screenings currently get them. Cologuard claims to detect 94% of stage 1 and 2 colon cancers. It is easier to treat cancer in those early stages.

“The important thing is that any of these stool-based tests if there is an abnormality, they definitely need to be followed up by a colonoscopy because none of these tests offer a biopsy,” said Dr. Jeremy Kortmansky with Yale’s Smilow Cancer Hospital.

Cologuard’s technology screens for blood in the stool and 11 so-called biomarkers. They are clues for possible cancer.

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“So polyps also have the ability to shed DNA from their surface has stool passes by it. They may not shed as much as cancer does. And so there is some differences in sensitivity as you as the body progresses from a polyp to cancer,” he said.

He said an unfortunate trend has driven the recommended starting age for colon cancer screenings from 50 to 45.

“We are seeing that the incidence of colon cancer and rectal colorectal cancer in the younger population in a really increasing and alarming rate,” Kortmansky said.

Kortmansky said there are some people who are not candidates for at-home stool tests including those with a personal or family history of polyps or colon cancer.

“They should definitely have a colonoscopy and patients that already have a high risk for colon cancer. So inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis also should have colonoscopies,” Kortmansky said.

Dr. Kortmansky stresses that half of all colorectal cancers are tied to things people can control such as smoking, an unhealthy diet, high alcohol consumption, obesity, and physical inactivity.