The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted blood tests that provide consumers a way to be proactive in their health, including the multi-cancer early detection (MCED) test Mercy offers. Dr. Jay Carlson, director of Mercy clinical research, said that when patients request the MCED test, they are referred to Mercy’s Center for Precision Medicine to be sure the test is appropriate.
The article highlights how many people have requested the test through Mercy’s online portal, more than 3,500, and how many were referred by their doctors, 1,061. As of late March, Mercy had ordered 1,079 tests for patients who met the age and risk criteria. Of those, there were nine positive tests, two of which proved to be false positives after further testing.
Carlson said, “The opportunity to intervene and change the course of the disease is what is intriguing and exciting.” He shared that he took the test himself because his father had been diagnosed with five different types of cancer. He tested negative and said it was “reassuring.”
Mercy, one of the 20 largest U.S. health systems and named the top large system in the U.S. for excellent patient experience by NRC Health, serves millions annually with nationally recognized quality care and one of the nation’s largest Accountable Care Organizations. Mercy is a highly integrated, multi-state health care system including more than 40 acute care, managed and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, convenient and urgent care locations, imaging centers and pharmacies. Mercy has 900 physician practices and outpatient facilities, more than 4,000 physicians and advanced practitioners and more than 45,000 co-workers serving patients and families across Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.