Real Cologuard®
story: Scott

Colorectal cancer survivor, screened with Cologuard®

“After I screened for colon cancer and had surgery, my concern went to my friends.” 

I got on the phone with all of them: Listen, I know we think we’re healthy and we think nothing bad will ever happen to us or think we don’t have time to screen for colon cancer. But do me a favor, call your doctor today and schedule your screening.

It was a complete 180 for Scott, who used to think If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. And as a fitness enthusiast, vegetarian and avid golfer, Scott was in the best shape of his life at age 53. The way he saw it, there wasn’t much that needed fixing when he went to visit his healthcare provider for the first time in quite a long time.

His healthcare provider wasn’t exactly thrilled.

“So you’ve probably never paid attention to colon health,” he prompted Scott.

Scott certainly knew about getting screened. And he knew about Cologuard – he was familiar with its commercials and even attended the Cologuard Classic golf tournament near his home.

“But I rationalized it,” he admitted. “I had a whole fake reality built in my head to convince myself I didn’t need to get screened.”

When his healthcare provider shared that Cologuard was an appropriate option for Scott, he reconsidered. Scott was at average risk for colon cancer and was on board.

 “I really trust my healthcare provider. He believes in Cologuard and he made me a believer, too.”

Something Scott had put off for years was done in minutes when he collected his sample right from home and returned his kit. Scott couldn’t have been more surprised when he received his positive result a few short weeks later and quickly followed up with a colonoscopy.

This is what happens to other people he thought when he woke up after the colonoscopy and saw his wife, Kelly, crying at his side.

This is what happens to other people he thought when he was told he would need surgery the following week to remove a tumor roughly the size of a tennis ball and surrounding tissue.

This is what happens to other people he thought when he was diagnosed with Stage I colon cancer. 

“The physical part of all of this was tough, but what was happening between my ears was worse than any physical pain,” he shared.

His frantically swirling thoughts, the effort of staying strong for his wife and on top of it all, navigating his diagnosis during a global pandemic – it all compounded for Scott. When he finally sat down with his oncologist after surgery, he was bracing himself for whatever next steps were ahead.

Which, for Scott, meant regular scans and colonoscopies. The cancer was caught early enough that Scott didn’t need chemotherapy or radiation.

“All of that worry was for nothing. I wish someone would have talked to me and helped get my runaway mind under control,” he explained. “Because all I did was go further down a dark road of speculation on my own.”

It’s not a road he wants anyone else to find themselves on, which is why he immediately encouraged his wife and his friends to get screened as soon as they were eligible. Long gone is Scott’s old If it’s not broken, don’t fix it way of thinking. These days, he tells everyone Quit thinking and start doing. Because regular screening can help catch colon cancer earlier, when it’s more treatable.1,2*

“I have had colon cancer, and that’s a thing that will stay in the back of my mind and never go away,” Scott explained. “It’s not fun baggage to carry, but I don’t have a choice.”

But make no mistake – it’s not something Scott dwells on. It’s something that emboldens him.

“What I can do is show up and suit up every day.” 

For himself. For his wife. For his friends. And for so many people he’ll never meet. And if he can help just one person on their own screening journey, it’s all worth it.


*Based on 5-year survival

This story reflects one individual’s experience. Not every person will have the same treatment, experience, outcome, or result. Cologuard is prescribed by your health care provider. Talk to your health care provider about available screening options and whether Cologuard may be right for you. There are potential risks associated with the Cologuard test and it may not be appropriate for all patients. For more information about the risks, talk to your health care provider or visit Cologuard.com/risk-information for more information.

References

1. Davidson KW, Barry MJ, Mangione CM, et al. Screening for colorectal cancer - US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2021;325(19):1965-1997.
2. National Cancer Institute. Cancer stat facts: colorectal cancer. Accessed March 1, 2022. https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/colorect.html

 

Cologuard is intended to screen adults 45 years of age and older who are at average risk for colorectal cancer by detecting certain DNA markers and blood in the stool. Do not use if you have had adenomas, have inflammatory bowel disease and certain hereditary syndromes, or a personal or family history of colorectal cancer. Cologuard is not a replacement for colonoscopy in high risk patients. Cologuard performance in adults ages 45-49 is estimated based on a large clinical study of patients 50 and older. Cologuard performance in repeat testing has not been evaluated.

The Cologuard test result should be interpreted with caution. A positive test result does not confirm the presence of cancer. Patients with a positive test result should be referred for colonoscopy. A negative test result does not confirm the absence of cancer. Patients with a negative test result should discuss with their doctor when they need to be tested again. False positives and false negative results can occur. In a clinical study, 13% of people without cancer received a positive result (false positive) and 8% of people with cancer received a negative result (false negative). Rx only.

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