Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare First in Milwaukee to Offer New Colon Cancer Screening Option - Ascension Wisconsin

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Published on March 11, 2015

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare First in Milwaukee to Offer New Colon Cancer Screening Option

Noninvasive stool DNA colorectal cancer test, Cologuard® available now

Glendale, WI – Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare is the first health care system in Milwaukee to begin using Cologuard as an option for patients who have chosen not to have a colonoscopy. The product offers people who are 50 and older and are at average risk for colorectal cancer an easy–to–use screening test they can take in the privacy of their own home.

Cologuard, manufactured by Madison-based company Exact Sciences, is the first and only FDA approved stool DNA noninvasive screening test for colorectal cancer. It analyzes stool to detect both altered DNA and blood biomarkers known to be associated with colorectal cancer and precancer. The test has been proven to find 92% of cancers and 69% of the most advanced precancerous polyps in average risk patients. Cologuard is now available through all Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group primary care clinicians, by prescription only.

“Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare is pleased to be the first system in Milwaukee to utilize Cologuard,” said Dr. Paul Hartlaub, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare’s Medical Director for Clinical Quality and Population Health. “Although we still recommend the colonoscopy for eligible patients because it is more effective for early detection of colon cancer, we are excited to provide an alternative option in order to increase the number of people being screened.”

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cancer-related cause of death in the United States. It is often considered a highly preventable cancer, yet is the least prevented cancer due to the lack of patient compliance with current screening options. For those whose cancer is detected at an early stage, the five-year survival rate can be greater than 90%, making routine screening critical. Unfortunately, 23 million Americans aged 50 and over do not get screened as recommended.