Cologuard Added to Preeminent Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Published on July 25, 2016

Cologuard Added to Preeminent Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines

Non-Invasive Colon Cancer Screening Option Gets Status Upgrade from Key Task Force

While colonoscopies may remain the gold standard for colon cancer treatment, patients have another noninvasive option that now has a solid recommendation from a prominent task force.

Cologuard® is the first and only FDA approved stool DNA noninvasive screening test for colorectal cancer and is available through Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group. In June, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force included Cologuard in its final 2016 colorectal cancer screening recommendations.  

Designed for men and women 50 years or older at average risk for colorectal cancer, Cologuard detects altered DNA shed from cancer cells as well as blood in the stool known to be associated with cancer and precancer. The test identified 92% of colorectal cancers and 69 percent of the most advanced precancerous polyps in average risk patients.

Dr. Patricia Golden, a family medicine doctor at Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group in Franklin, said the task force’s latest recommendation will lead more people to use Cologuard and be screened for colon cancer, which she says is positive.

“With the task force backing, this is not considered experimental,” Dr. Golden says. “This is an appropriate standard of care and gives patients another strong option.”

How Cologuard Works

  • After meeting with a doctor who prescribes Cologuard, the test is ordered and delivered directly to the patient’s home.
  • The patient collects a sample in the comfort of their own home (no medication, dietary restrictions or bowel preparation is required) and sends the collection kit to a lab for testing through a pre-paid mailer.
  • In as little as two weeks, the patient’s healthcare provider receives the results from the lab and shares them with the patient.
  • Patients with a positive result - meaning that the test detected altered DNA and/or blood that could be caused by cancer or precancer in the colon or rectum – will be referred for a colonoscopy.

Colorectal Cancer Stats

  • According to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, colorectal cancer is the most preventable, yet least prevented cancer in the United States.
  • More than 60% of Americans age 50 and up are not getting screened for colorectal cancer.
  • Colorectal cancer remains the second-leading cancer killer among both men and women in this country.
  • The good news is that for those whose cancer is detected at an early stage, the five-year survival rate can be greater than 90%.

Using Cologuard

Cologuard is available by prescription only and may not be appropriate for every patient. Please talk with your doctor about your risk for colorectal cancer and which screening option is right for you.

Cologuard is not intended for use by patients with a personal or family history of colon cancer and patients who are at high risk for colon cancer. Patients should check with their insurance plan to see if the test is covered. You can also learn more on the Cologuard website.

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Cologuard Added to Preeminent Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines