Team Covid Letter Pic

A LETTER TO OUR COMMUNITY OF PATIENTS, SURVIVORS AND CAREGIVERS

Last updated March 18, 2020

Dear Friends,

Here at the Colon Cancer Foundation we are thinking of our community of colorectal cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, and loved ones during this trying time. Your health, safety, quality of life, and well-being are our top priorities.

The new strain of coronavirus, or COVID-19, is disrupting the lives of millions in the United States and in countries across the world. Many of our closest partners in the fight against colorectal cancer are now being asked to join the race against time to ensure their local health care communities are ready and to the slow the spread of COVID-19. Researchers, public health officials, health systems and individual clinicians are all playing a role in mitigating the effects of COVID-19.

While they wage the clinical battle against COVID-19 we strongly encourage you to take action to slow the spread, #flattenthecurve, and reduce your risk of contracting the virus. Anyone can get the new coronavirus, the virus does not discriminate on the basis of sex, health, age nor gender – anyone can get it.

However, cancer patients and survivors have an increased risk of complications and severe events from COVID-19 due to treatments that suppress the immune system. “…patients with any type of advanced cancer are going to be at much higher risk for bad outcomes,” according to Paul A. Volberding, MD, Chief Medical Editor of Infectious Disease News.

ASCO and Cancernet.com published an article yesterday, “Coronavirus 2019: What People With Cancer Need to Know”. Dr. Merry Jennifer Markham, MD, FACP addressed the following question: Are there special precautions that people with cancer should take?

“People with cancer, people who are in active cancer treatment, older patients, and people with other serious chronic medical conditions, such as lung disease, diabetes, or heart disease, may be at higher risk for the more severe form of COVID-19. The same rules apply for people with cancer as for those without cancer: Be sure to wash your hands well, and wash them frequently. Avoid touching your face, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

“People who are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 should avoid cruise-ship travel and all other non-essential travel during this time of COVID-19 outbreak. Stay at home as much as possible to reduce exposure to other people. It is safest to avoid social gatherings. In order to stay connected to your support system, make plans to connect with your family and friends virtually, through video chat or phone calls.

“Be sure to have enough essential medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, to last for up to a month. Create an emergency contact list that includes family, friends, neighbors, and community or neighborhood resources who may be able to provide information or assistance to you if you need it.

“Finally, if you are scheduled for cancer treatments during the COVID-19 outbreak, have a discussion with your oncologist about the benefits and risks of continuing or delaying treatment.”

We encourage you to visit these websites for the most current information and guidance:

We also strongly encourage you to take action to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease. For more information please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html

We know the constant COVID-19 updates, including news reports, travel restrictions, concerns for your own and your loved ones’ health can lead to fear and anxiety. For some tips on staying healthy emotionally, mentally and physically you can visit these three websites:

https://adaa.org/tips

https://www.yalemedicine.org/stories/covid-19-anxiety/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html

What the Colon Cancer Foundation is doing:

We have been working nonstop to keep our community up to date and as healthy as possible.

This unforeseen and ever evolving situation requires us to adapt however it also gives us the opportunity to innovate. We are exploring technology that will offer us a virtual option to keep our 17 year signature event – the Colon Cancer Challenge – and our critical work in the fight against colorectal cancer laser focused and moving forward. COVID-19 does not lessen or change the needs of our community – over 1,000 people will lose their lives to colorectal cancer this week alone.

We remain committed to our mission, to you and to the thousands who are battling colorectal cancer right now.

On behalf of everyone here at Team Colon Cancer Challenge take care of yourself and your loved ones. We will get through this together.

Cindy Borassi

Interim President

Colon Cancer Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last updated March 16, 2020

Dear Friends,

As we continue to monitor developments regarding COVID-19, we hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.

This situation is evolving daily and will continue to impact our communities in evolving ways. Yet, we take comfort in knowing that we have incredible people like you who are compassionate, resilient, and who consistently give back and pay it forward.

Due to this morning’s announcements by the Governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people we have no choice but to cancel the Colon Cancer Challenge at Randall’s Island scheduled for March 29th, 2020.

We can’t thank you enough for your hard work on our behalf and the contributions you have already made. As you know Colorectal Cancer doesn’t stop for anyone – not even COVID-19and your support will enable us to continue to fight the nation’s second leading form of cancer as we weather this storm.

For those of you who are interested in maintaining the fitness level required for a 2M walk or a 5K we recommend you turn this into an opportunity to join us for a “virtual” walk/run/bike ride” in your neighborhood or community park. (Observing social distancing recommendations of course). More details to follow!

We are also looking into the possibility of rescheduling the Colon Cancer Challenge for the fall. We will keep you posted as opportunities arise to be involved in In-person, live events to support our mission – A World Without Colorectal Cancer™.

In the meantime, we encourage you to visit these websites for the most current information and guidance, the New York City Department of Health (NYCDOH), the New York State Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

We also strongly encourage those in our community who are at a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 to take actions to reduce their risk of getting sick with the disease. For more information please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html

If you have any questions you can contact the Colon Cancer Foundation by email at info@coloncancerfoundation.org or by phone at 914-305-6674.

Our sincerest wishes for a safe and healthy spring,

Cindy R. Borassi

Interim President

Colon Cancer Foundation

In the cancer community usually, immune cells in a tumor can improve one’s chances of survival. However, a new study recently found that colorectal cancer patients with too many immune cells may be at risk for disease recurrence and increased risk of death.

New research from City of Hope, an independent research center, published a study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that offered insight that the standard view of immunology as a positive may adversely affect colorectal cancer patients. 71 patients with colorectal cancer at the City of Hope had immune cells and all of the patients relapsed – all even earlier than those who did not have the immune cells are still relapsed. The researchers hypothesized that the patients’ immune systems were on overdrive.

The study offered new insight into immunotherapy and Immunoscore, which is a recent benchmark that may predict the risk of colon cancer recurring in survivors. City of Hope has identified new recurrence insight based on their studies and hope to apply the same techniques to breast cancer patients and eventually melanoma and lung cancer.

Read more about the study and ask your physician about any questions you may have. 

 

February is Fiber Awareness Month, which is a perfect time to learn more about fiber and the role it can play in preventing colorectal cancer. Fiber-rich foods are known for their immense health benefits and multiple studies link fiber to a lower risk of colon cancer.

 

While it is well-known that fiber leads to a lower risk of colon cancer, did you also know it may help those who have battled colorectal cancer to live longer? The Cleveland Clinic recently found in questionnaires and medical records from 1,575 people that those who had been treated  for early-stage colon cancer had a 20% reduction in dying if they ate more fiber-rich foods. Additionally, they also faced a 15% lower risk of dying from other diseases, too.

 

How can you get your daily intake of fiber-rich foods? Luckily, fiber is found in many fruits/vegetables and dry goods, according to WedMD.

  • Raspberries have 8 grams of fiber per cup
  • Medium-sized artichokes have 10 grams of fiber
  • Beans are high in fiber and protein
  • Cereals with 5 or more grams of fiber per serving are a smart choice
  • Popcorn is a fiber-friendly snack with low calories

 

You can also look for fiber-fortified products, such as milk or juices. The study from the Cleveland Clinic highlighted high-fiber cereal and whole grains as the most beneficial sources of fiber, followed by fruits and vegetables. Even a small change in adding fiber to a patient’s diet showed an improvement in those diagnosed with colon cancer.

 

Comment below and let us know how you incorporate fiber into your diet.

 

If you’re in New York City this upcoming week, join the Colon Cancer Foundation for our 2019 Ride for Research. We’ll be clipping in for a Charity Spin Class that will benefit our work to help eradicate colon cancer and support survivors and patients.

In the United States, colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and in women, according to the American Cancer Society. When you combine men and women, it’s the second most common cause of cancer deaths. An estimated 51,020 people will die in 2019 from colon cancer.

The Young Leadership Board (YLB) of the Colon Cancer Foundation partnering with SWERVE Fitness on Dec. 7, 2019, to offer the charity spin class at either 12:30 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $65 and will include the 45-minute spin class, shoe rental and a bottle of water. The address is at 21 West 46th Street, New York, NY.

All proceeds will be donated directly to the Colon Cancer Foundation, which helps fund research focused on early age onset of colorectal cancer. Learn more about our research program and past grant awardees on our website.

Since the American Cancer Society reduced its screening guidelines for colorectal cancer, it’s no surprise that more young adults are affected by early age onset colon cancer. What is surprising, and just as alarming, is that more young adults are dying from colorectal cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, the United States has seen a 51% increase in colorectal cancer in those under 50-years-old since 1994. The American Cancer Society reduced its screening guidelines for those at standard risk to 45-years-old because of the rise in early age onset colorectal cancer.

Despite the change in screening standards, mortality rates are increasing for those with early age onset colorectal cancer. According to Colorectal Cancer Alliance research, 67% of young early age onset colorectal cancer patients saw anywhere from two to four doctors before being diagnosed. This means that many patients were slow to recognize their symptoms, which can aid in early detection. 

Early symptoms may include: 

  • A change your bowel habits
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Frequent gas, bloating or cramps

 

Learn more about the common symptoms of colorectal cancer and educate your loved ones on how to get screened on our blog. If you have any questions, please reach out to us in the comments.

 

Friends, peers and patients gathered at the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) 2019 annual meeting in Baltimore to remember the late Thomas Weber, MD, FACS founder and president of the Colon Cancer Foundation and past chairman of the NCCRT.

Attendees emphasized the importance of honoring Dr. Weber’s legacy by accepting his challenge to continue to ask the difficult questions and listen to every idea, even if these ideas are, as one attendee put it, “very bold.”  A patient-advocate spoke of Tom’s friendship and how she felt especially valued by him and his dedication to the emerging early-age CRC public health issue.

The Colon Cancer Foundation will continue Dr. Weber’s groundbreaking work and by welcoming his son, Nicholas Weber to the Board of Directors, will hold true to his vision and renew his commitment to continue the Colon Cancer Foundation’s national leadership in EAO-CRC.

 

This October is health literacy month where we celebrate 20 years of promoting health information. Whether you have rarely used your health insurance in the past or your family hits its deductible every year, a recent colorectal cancer diagnosis may still feel daunting. Learn more about basic health literacy terms that you may need to […]

If you have recently had a colorectal cancer diagnosis or need a screening, learn more about financial assistance programs that may alleviate some of your medical bills. The Blue Hope Financial Assistance program helps low-income individuals reduce the burden of testing and treatment costs.

The Blue Hope Financial Assistance program offers low-cost screenings for colonoscopies and FIT tests, $300 stipends to assist with screenings or $200 to help with colorectal cancer treatment costs.

To qualify for a low-cost colonoscopy, you must be uninsured or underinsured and have a total income below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. To be eligible for a stipend, you must be uninsured or underinsured and have a total household income of less than $75,000. If you have received assistance from the program in the past, you may not apply again.

The program does not exclude applicants based on age or genetic factors, so encourage your loved ones to apply if they qualify for the Blue Hope Financial Assistance program.

Learn more about the Blue Hope Financial Assistance program and apply at the Colon Cancer Alliance. Discover more resources on financial assistance and get the tools and support you need online.

Additional resources:

https://www.cancercare.org/financial_assistance

https://www.panfoundation.org/index.php/en/patients/assistance-programs/colorectal-cancer

https://www.ccalliance.org/patient-family-support/financial-assistance-programs

 https://www.cancer.org/content/cancer/en/treatment/support-programs-and-services/patient-lodging/hope-lodge.html

https://www.cancerandcareers.org/en

 https://www.allysonwhitney.org/grants/

https://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/resources

 https://www.patientadvocate.org/explore-our-resources/national-financial-resource-directory/

 

Stool DNA test offers a sensitive, noninvasive, at-home option to screen for colorectal cancer, second deadliest cancer in U.S.

MADISON, Wis. –September 23, 2019 (NASDAQ: EXAS) – Exact Sciences Corp. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its noninvasive colorectal cancer screening test, Cologuard, for eligible average-risk individuals ages 45 and older, expanding on its previous indication for ages 50 and older. The decision comes at a critical time when the incidence of colorectal cancer is on the rise among American adults under the age of 50.i

Between 2004 and 2015, health care providers diagnosed more than 130,000 cases of colorectal cancer in Americans under age 50.i Among these cases, more than half were diagnosed at an advanced stage, stage III or stage IV, when survival rates are low. About one out of 10 people with stage IV colorectal cancer survive beyond five years.ii,iii

The American Cancer Society (ACS) responded to the growing trend of colorectal cancer in younger patients in May 2018 when it updated its colorectal cancer screening guidelines to include people between the ages of 45 to 49.i The prior ACS recommendation called for screening to begin at age 50.vii

Colorectal cancer is considered the most preventable, yet least prevented form of canceriv and is the second deadliest cancer in the U.S.v Regular screening is crucial because colorectal cancer is more treatable when detected in its earlier stages.v

The label expansion, or broadening of the population for whom Cologuard is FDA- approved, provides a new, sensitive, at-home stool-based screening choice for the approximately 19 million average-risk people in the U.S. ages 45 to 49.vi

“About three million people have been screened for colorectal cancer with Cologuard, with nearly half of those surveyed saying they were previously unscreened. With the FDA now approving the use of Cologuard for this vulnerable 45-49 age group, we are giving health care providers a sensitive, noninvasive option that has the potential to help combat the rise of colorectal cancer rates among this younger group of people,” said Kevin Conroy, chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences.

Backed by strong science and robust clinical research in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, Cologuard is a stool DNA-based colorectal cancer screening test for average-

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risk individuals. Cologuard uses a biomarker panel which analyzes a person’s stoolsample for 10 DNA markers, as well as blood in the stool (hemoglobin).

“The alarming rise in incidences of colorectal cancer for those under 50 is creating a sense of urgency,” said Anjee Davis, President of Fight Colorectal Cancer. “To tacklethe need for increased awareness and screening across the country, we must work together with advocacy groups, industry innovators, insurance companies and health care providers. There is a need to educate the public about colorectal cancer screening and the array of reliable screening options. Expanding the screening age to 45 for Cologuard provides an additional tool to reach the unscreenedpopulations.”

In an effort to combat the colorectal cancer screening gap, Exact Sciences designed a one-of-a-kind, nationwide user-navigation system that provides 24/7 phone and online support to help people through the process of collecting and returning their samples. This approach combines multiple industry best practices to offer a vital tool in the collective efforts to increase colorectal cancer screening.

“The medical and scientific communities agree that rising rates of colorectal cancer in younger adults must be addressed, and we support efforts to gather evidence on the impact of screening in younger populations,” said Paul Limburg, MD, MPH,AGAF, Chief Medical Officer of Exact Sciences and Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist. “As research progresses, we must offer screening options to people that may already have or will develop colorectal cancer and pre-cancers, aiming to increase screening rates and halt the rise of colorectal cancer in younger Americans.”

Exact Sciences is committed to working across the health care delivery system to ensure those seeking an at-home, noninvasive screening test have access to all options and is actively working with payer partners to expand coverage to include this critical screening population.

Cologuard is available to appropriate patients through their health care provider. For more information, visit www.CologuardTest.com or call 1-844-870-8870.

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Cara Connelly, cconnelly@exactsciences.com, 614-302-5622

Media Contact: Investor Contact:

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Megan Jones, meganjones@exactsciences.com, 608-535-8815About Exact Sciences Corp.

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Exact Sciences Corp. is a molecular diagnostics company focused on the early detection and prevention of some of the deadliest forms of cancer. The company has exclusive intellectual property protecting its noninvasive, molecular screening technology for the detection of colorectal cancer. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.exactsciences.com, follow Exact Sciences on Twitter@ExactSciences or find Exact Sciences on Facebook.

About Cologuard

Cologuard was first approved by the FDA in August 2014 and results from Exact Sciences’ prospective 90-site, point-in-time, 10,000-patient pivotal trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in March 2014. Cologuard is included in the American Cancer Society’s (2018) colorectal cancer screening guidelines and as a recommended option for adults over the age of 50 by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2016) and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (2016).

Cologuard is indicated to screen adults of either sex, 45 years or older, who are at average risk for colorectal cancer. Cologuard is not for everyone and is not a replacement for diagnostic colonoscopy or surveillance colonoscopy in high-risk individuals, including those with a history of colorectal cancer and adenomas, a family history of colorectal cancer, IBD, or certain hereditary syndromes. False positives and false negatives do occur. Any positive test result should be followed by a diagnostic colonoscopy. Following a negative result, patients should continue participating in a screening program at an interval and with a method appropriate for the individual patient. The clinical validation studies were conducted in patients over 50 years of age. Cologuard performance when used for repeat testing has not been evaluated or established. Medicare and most major insurers cover Cologuard. For more information about Cologuard, visit www.cologuardtest.com. Rx Only.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, that are intended to be covered by the “safe harbor” created by those sections. Forward-looking statements, which are based on certain assumptions and describe our future plans, strategies and expectations, can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking terms such as “believe,” “expect,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “would,” “could,” “seek,” “intend,” “plan,” “goal,” “project,” “estimate,” “anticipate” or other comparable terms. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this news release regarding our strategies, prospects, financial condition, operations, costs, plans and objectives are forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make regarding expected future operating results, anticipated results of our sales and marketing efforts, expectations concerning payer reimbursement and the anticipated results of our product development efforts. Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future

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performance. Instead, they are based only on our current beliefs, expectations and assumptions regarding the future of our business, future plans and strategies, projections, anticipated events and trends, the economy and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict and many of which are outside of our control. Our actual results and financial condition may differ materially from those indicated in the forward- looking statements. Therefore, you should not rely on any of these forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause our actual results and financial condition to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements include, among others, the following: our ability to successfully and profitably market our products and services; the acceptance of our products and services by patients and healthcare providers; our ability to meet demand for our products and services; the willingness of health insurance companies and other payers to cover our products and services and adequately reimburse us for such products and services; the amount and nature of competition from other cancer screening and diagnostic products and services; the effects of the adoption, modification or repeal of any law, rule, order, interpretation or policy relating to the healthcare system, including without limitation as a result of any judicial, executive or legislative action; the effects of changes in pricing, coverage and reimbursement for our products and services, including without limitation as a result of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014; recommendations, guidelines and quality metrics issued by various organizations such as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the American Cancer Society, and the National Committee for Quality Assurance regarding cancer screening or our products and services; our ability to successfully develop new products and services; our ability to effectively utilize strategic partnerships, such as our Promotion Agreement with Pfizer, Inc., and acquisitions; our success establishing and maintaining collaborative, licensing and supplier arrangements; our ability to maintain regulatory approvals and comply with applicable regulations; and the other risks and uncertainties described in the Risk Factors and in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations sections of our most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and our subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

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i Wolf A, Fontham E, Church TR, et al. Colorectal cancer screening for average-risk adults: 2018 guideline update from the American Cancer Society. CA Cancer J Clin. 2018;68:250-281.
ii Virostko J, Capasso A, Yankeelov TE, et al. Recent trends in the age at diagnosis of colorectal cancer in the US National Cancer Data Base, 2004-2015. Cancer. 2019;0:1-8.

iii Lansdorp-Vogelaar I, v Ballegooijen M, Zauber AG et al. Effect of Rising Chemotherapy Costs

on the Cost Savings of Colorectal Cancer Screening. J Natl Cancer Inst 2009;101:1412-1422.iv

v

vi United States Census Bureau. www.census.gov. Accessed September 10, 2019.
vii Smith RA, Andrews KS, Brooks D, et al. Cancer screening in the United States, 2017: A review of current American Cancer Society guidelines and current issues in cancer screening. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 67: 100-121.