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World J Gastroenterol. 2014 May 7;20(17):4972-9. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i17.4972.

Patient perceptions of stool DNA testing for pan-digestive cancer screening: a survey questionnaire.

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Dennis Yang, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55902, United States.



To explore patient interest in a potential multi-organ stool-DNA test (MUST) for pan-digestive cancer screening.


A questionnaire was designed and mailed to 1200 randomly-selected patients from the Mayo Clinic registry. The 29-item survey questionnaire included items related to demographics, knowledge of digestive cancers, personal and family history of cancer, personal concern of cancer, colorectal cancer (CRC) screening behavior, interest in MUST, importance of test features in a cancer screening tool, and comparison of MUST with available CRC screening tests. All responses were summarized descriptively. χ(2) and Rank Sum Test were used for categorical and continuous variables, respectively.


Completed surveys were returned by 434 (29% aged 50-59, 37% 60-69, 34% 70-79, 52% women). Most participants (98%) responded they would use MUST. In order of importance, respondents rated multi-cancer detection, absence of bowel preparation, safety and noninvasiveness as most attractive characteristics. For CRC screening, MUST was preferred over colorectal-only stool-DNA testing (53%), occult blood testing (75%), colonoscopy (84%), sigmoidoscopy (91%), and barium enema (95%), P < 0.0001 for each. Among those not previously screened, most (96%) indicated they would use MUST if available. Respondents were confident in their ability to follow instructions to perform MUST (98%). Only 9% of respondents indicated that fear of finding cancer was a concern with MUST, and only 3% indicated unpleasantness of stool sampling as a potential barrier.


Patients are receptive to the concept of MUST, preferred MUST over conventional CRC screening modalities and valued its potential feature of multi-cancer detection.


Colorectal cancer screening; Gastrointestinal cancer screening; Patient perceptions; Stool-DNA testing

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