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Finding Colon Cancer

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Two new DNA-based tests are being developed with the aim of detecting colon cancer earlier and reducing the rate of the disease, says the New York Times' Nicholas Wade. The tests could also help people avoid unnecessary colonoscopies — doctors would only send patients for that invasive exam if they tested positive in one of the DNA tests, Wade says. One of the tests — made by Exact Sciences — looks in stool samples for four mutated genes that are indicative of colon cancer, while the other — which is being developed by Epigenomics AG in Germany — looks in a patient's blood for the septin 9 gene, which is not one of the four Exact looks for, he adds. Both tests are expected to be on the market within two years.

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