Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between colon cancer and rectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is the term used to describe cancer of the colon and/or rectum. The two cancers are grouped together because they share many common characteristics. Together, the colon and rectum make up the large intestine, a question mark-shaped bowel four feet in length. Colon cancer develops in all but the last few inches of the large intestine, between the appendix and rectum. Rectal cancer develops in the rectum, the last few inches of the large intestine that attaches to the anus. Colon cancer is more common. An estimated 95,000 new cases of colon cancer are diagnosed each year, compared to 39,000 cases of rectal cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.


What are the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer may develop when benign polyps in the large intestine grow and become cancerous. There may be no symptoms of benign polyps or colorectal cancer in its earliest stages. As the cancer grows, symptoms may include abdominal pain or cramps; constipation or diarrhea; blood in the stool; bloating or a sense of not feeling empty after a bowel movement; flattened or ribbon-shaped stool and/or pain in the rectum. Signs of advanced colorectal cancer may include unexplained weight loss, fatigue, anemia and loss of appetite.


Can colorectal cancer be prevented?

The risk factors for colorectal cancer may be reduced with regular checkups and lifestyle changes. The American Cancer Society recommends that most men and women of average risk have a colonoscopy beginning at age 45. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you should get screened 10 years earlier than when your family member was diagnosed.


If screening saves lives, why don’t more people do it?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1-in-3 screening eligible adults do not get screened. Why do so many avoid getting screened? There are many reasons, including:

  •  Lack of insurance coverage

  • Fears about the test or colonoscopy preparation

  • Their primary care doctor hasn’t suggested it

  •  They’re too busy or don’t think they have the time

  • Cultural and/or socioeconomic reasons

  • Failure to understand the risks associated with not being screened


Is it possible to have blood in your stool, but not have colon cancer?

Yes, it is possible to have blood in your stool but not have colon cancer. Hemorrhoids, anal fissures or tears, infections of the colon (infectious diarrhea), inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's colitis), colonic diverticula and abnormal blood vessels (arteriovenous malformations or angiodysplasia) may all be associated with bleeding from the rectum or colon. Blood in the stool may also occur from lesions in the stomach and small intestine such as peptic ulcer disease, angiodysplasia and Crohn's disease of the small intestine. Rectal bleeding of any amount or blood in or on the stool is never normal and should not be ignored, as some causes are more serious than others.


What are my current choices for CRC screening?

  1. Colonoscopy

  2. Be-Screened – CRC Blood Test

  3. Computed tomography (CT or CAT) colonography

  4. Sigmoidoscopy

  5. Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and fecal immunochemical test (FIT)

  6. Stool DNA tests


How Accurate is BeScreened™-CRC ?

BeScreened-CRC is 94.6% accurate at determining the presence of CRC.


Is BeScreened™-CRC right for me?

BeScreened-CRC is as a simple blood-based test that aides in the detection of colorectal cancer.  If you are:

  • 50-years of age and older

  • Considered to be at average-risk

  • Have been unwilling or unable to participate in CRC screening using existing fecal-based testing and invasive imaging procedures, such as colonoscopies

BeScreened-CRC was developed specifically for you. No stool sample, bowel prep or time off work.


Is BeScreened-CRC covered by insurance?

BeScreened-CRC is covered by United Healthcare for all their commercial plans across the U.S.  Beacon can also now bill all private insurance plans as an out-of-network provider including, but not limited to Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Banner Health, Cigna, HealthNet, Humana, and United Health Care.

Coverage and payments are subject to each patient’s individual plan’s deductible and co-pay policy. BeScreened-CRC also qualifies under all HSA/FSA plans.

Exceptions: BeScreened™-CRC is not currently covered by Medicare and is only covered by Arizona AHCCCS program payers with their pre-approval.

Cash Pay Option: For individuals with high deductibles or no insurance coverage, an affordable cash pay option is available.


I have a “Positive” BeScreened-CRC result.  What does that mean?

A positive result can indicate the presence of colorectal cancer (CRC) or advanced adenoma (pre-cancer). While Be-Screened-CRC is a highly accurate test, it may also produce a positive result even though a colonoscopy may not find colorectal cancer or precancerous polyps. Such a result is called a “False Positive” .  It’s important to note that all screening tests have false positives regardless of whose test it is.

As such, it is recommended that further clinical evaluation take place and that a follow-up investigation with a structural examination of the colon such as a screening colonoscopy be conducted.


I have a “Negative” BeScreened-CRC result.  What does that mean?

A negative result indicates a lower likelihood that colorectal cancer (CRC) or advanced adenoma (pre- cancer) is present. While Be-Screened-CRC is a highly accurate test, a negative test result does not guarantee the absence of colorectal cancer or advanced adenoma (pre-cancer). Patients with a negative Be-Screened result are advised to participate in a colorectal cancer screening program and do so at a recommended interval and with a method appropriate for the patient and their personal medical history.  


How is Be-Screened-CRC intended to be used?

BeScreened-CRC is intended for colorectal cancer screening of adults of either gender, 50 years or older, who are at typical average-risk for colorectal cancer and who are unable or unwilling to undergo other colorectal cancer screening methods.


What type of test is BeScreened-CRC?

BeScreened-CRC is a blood-based test that tests for three tumor associated proteins and then analyses those results using a proprietary relational algorithm to determine the patient’s CRC risk profile as to the lower (negative) or higher (positive) likelihood that colorectal cancer (CRC) or advanced adenoma (pre- cancer) is present.  Its performance has been established by Beacon Biomedical in a cross-sectional study in patients of either sex, 50 years or older, who are at typical average-risk for colorectal cancer.


Is BeScreened-CRC FDA approved?

As a laboratory developed test (LDT) under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS’) Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), BeScreened-CRC is approved for the clinical use and it does not require FDA clearance or approval. BeScreened-CRC was developed exclusively by Beacon Biomedical, Inc. Beacon is certified under CLIA to perform high complexity clinical laboratory testing and is accredited to offer BeScreened-CRC to the public as a CRC screening test.  This test is intended as a CRC screening test and is not to be regarded as being investigational or for research.


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