Updated: 08/26/2014 6:49 PM
Created: 08/26/2014 3:17 PM KAALtv.com
ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) - Doctors at the Mayo Clinic are offering a new way for patients to be tested for colon cancer.
The Star Tribune reports officials announced Monday the Rochester clinic will be the nation's first to provide patients with a new at-home colon cancer test. The Cologuard test recently won government approval as the first such test that uses patients' DNA to detect warning signs in stool samples. Patients mail the samples to be tested.
A gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic, David Ahlquist, co-invented Cologuard and both he and Mayo share equity and royalties under a licensing agreement. The test will only be available through prescriptions from the clinic's primary care doctors.
Mayo officials say the alternative to a colonoscopy should lead more adults to get tested. Although colon cancer is preventable through proper screening, 23 million Americans ages 50 to 75 don't follow screening recommendations.