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Table 1 Current CRC screening methods

From: Methods and novel technology for microRNA quantification in colorectal cancer screening

Tool Blood or stool Sensitivity (%) Specificity (%) Advantages Limitations Citation
Colonoscopy Invasive 75–93 100 • Well validated and widely accepted
• High sensitivity and specificity
• Requires expertise to perform/interpret
• Invasive
• Low compliance
• Risk of intestinal perforation and bleeding
[4, 8]
Sigmoidoscopy Invasive 77–84 84 • Typically does not require sedation
• Less extensive bowel preparation
• Requires expertise to perform/interpret
• Invasive
• Risk of intestinal perforation and bleeding
• Not as thorough as colonoscopy
[9, 10]
Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) Stool 50 91–98 • Inexpensive
• Can be performed at home
• Low sensitivity
• Requires repeated testing
[18, 19]
Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) Stool 93 90 • Inexpensive
• Can be performed at home
• High sensitivity
• Not as sensitive to colorectal neoplasia [19, 21]
Cologuard Stool 92–98 90 • Inexpensive
• Can be performed at home
• Not as sensitive to colorectal neoplasia [22, 24]
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) Blood 74–80 70–95 • Easy to perform • Cannot detect early stage CRC
• No standardized cutoff values
[27, 29]
Epi proColon Blood 66–68 91 • Easy to perform • Low sensitivity [31, 32]