What Your Provider Wants You To Know About Cologuard
Colon cancer is the second deadliest cancer, but it’s also the most preventable form of cancer!
The best way to stop colon cancer is by catching it early on. Luckily, you have options in detecting colon cancer. We recommend either a colonoscopy or Cologuard – a noninvasive screening that can be done on your own terms. Learn more about this option below!
What is Cologuard?
Cologuard is a noninvasive screening for colon cancer. It’s recommended if you’re 45 years or older and have an average risk for colorectal cancer. The screening works by identifying specific DNA markers and blood that is present in the stool.
Who can take advantage of a Cologuard option?
Cologuard is intended for use with patients, age 45 years and older, at average risk who are typical candidates for a colorectal cancer screening. Cologuard has found 92% of colon cancers, even during the early stages. Cologuard was not clinically evaluated for the following types of patients:
- Patients with a history of colorectal cancer, adenomas or other related cancers
- Patients who have had a positive result from another colorectal cancer screening method within the last 6 months
- Patients who have been diagnosed with a condition that is associated with high risk for colorectal cancer. These include but are not limited to:
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Chronic ulcerative colitis (CUC)
- Crohn’s disease
- Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
- Family history of colorectal cancer
- Patients who have been diagnosed with a relevant familial (hereditary) cancer syndrome, such as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer syndrome (HNPCC) or Lynch syndrome, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, MYH-associated polyposis (MAP), Gardner’s syndrome, Turcot’s (or Crail’s) syndrome, Cowden’s syndrome, juvenile polyposis, Cronkhite-Canada syndrome, neurofibromatosis, or familial hyperplastic polyposis.
Patients over the age of 75 are advised to interpret results with caution as false positives can increase with age.
How to request Cologuard.
If you are a current Village Health Partners patient, you may email your physician or advanced practitioner through the Patient Portal and ask them if you are a candidate for this noninvasive option.
My provider said they were ordering Cologuard for me at my appointment. What do I need to do now?
Cologuard will send your kit straight to your door so now all you have to do is wait for it to come in the mail! Cologuard will also give you a call soon to see if you have any questions.
Once you receive your kit, it only takes a few steps to complete your screening!
- Take your kit into your bathroom
- Follow the instructions provided in your kit
- Drop the sample package off at a UPS location the same day or next day after collecting your sample! The lab must receive your sample within 4 days for successful testing. If you can’t drop the package off, call 1-844-870-8870 and Cologuard will schedule a UPS pickup.
Do you need help using your kit? Click here for a video explanation and step-by-step instructions.
I sent back my sample. How do I get my Cologuard results?
Cologuard will send your results directly to your provider two weeks after your kit is sent in. The results will be posted to the Patient Portal.
What do my results mean?
Positive result – The Cologuard test detected altered DNA and/or blood that could be caused by precancerous growth or colon cancer.
Your provider will likely recommend that you have a diagnostic colonoscopy for further evaluation.
Negative result – The test did not detect altered DNA and/or blood that could be caused by precancerous growth or colon cancer.
Is Cologuard covered by insurance?
This test is covered by Medicare and most major insurance plans. Click here to find a list of insurance plans that cover Cologuard.
Where can I find answers to my other questions?
If you have any more questions, contact Cologuard at 1-844-870-8870. A Cologuard team member can answer your questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.