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.
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.
Cara Connelly, email@example.com, 614-302-5622
Media Contact: Investor Contact:
Megan Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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.
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
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.
Colorectal cancer, one of the most deadliest cancers in the United States, affects a variety of ages. This September, honor Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by learning more about early age onset cancer and how it affects those around you.
What Is Early Age Onset Colorectal Cancer?
Early age onset cancer happens when anyone under 50-years-old develops colorectal cancer, including children. Even though diagnoses over the age of 50-years-old are decreasing, those under 50-years-old are seeing higher diagnosis rates. While it is rare for children to get this deadly cancer, it can occur based on genetics and/or lifestyle choices.
Can Children Get Early Age Onset Colorectal Cancer?
According to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, less than 100 children in the United States will develop colon carcinoma this year. While colorectal cancer may be rare in children, it is still possible and genetic screening can help your loved ones catch the cancer earlier. Learn more about early age onset cancer on our blog.
What Can I Do to Support Those With Childhood Cancer?
You can support those with childhood colorectal cancer in many ways. Getting involved with the Colon Cancer Foundation is an easy way to provide support for those with colorectal cancer. We have opportunities for everyone regardless of your income level or time commitment. Learn how to get involved today on our blog.
Did you catch our recap on the Fifth Annual Early Age Onset Colorectal Cancer Summit? We are excited to share video footage from our groundbreaking conference on preventing colorectal cancer. If you were unable to attend, please watch these short recaps on various sessions throughout the summit.
In session six, Sarah DeBord, a patient, discusses building her own cancer support system and her familiarity with palliative care, including lobbying for more support. She uses a specific analogy of an onion to describe the layers of care that a patient requires.
Cancer Susceptibility Gene Mutations in Individuals
Dr. Matthew B. Yurgelun shared the shift in mentality in how physicians look at hereditary colorectal cancer. Dr. Yurgelun shares how next-generation sequencing technologies allow for rapid assessment of genes in a way that is deeper than researchers could understand in the past.
Framing the Conversation
One of our favorite, but most heartbreaking, moments of the conference included various attendees sharing their personal stories with colorectal cancer. These stories show the importance of getting tested and staying educated on the dangers of colon cancer.
The Colon Cancer Foundation is pleased to announce Dr. Jenny Lazarus as a recipient of the 2019 Colorectal Cancer Research Scholar Award. Dr. Lazarus currently focuses on immune therapy, combined with looking at colon cancer at a microscopic level to understand how the cancer cells interact with other cells. She will join the Colon Cancer Foundation at the Colorectal Cancer Research Scholar Award Presentation this year. Read our interview to learn more about Dr. Lazarus and her role in colorectal cancer research.
Tell us about your background.
I am from a small town in the mountains of Northern California. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Davis in Classical Civilizations with an emphasis on Latin poetry and Roman art. I completed my Medical Degree from Ross University in Dominica, West Indies. I have traveled to many places in my life and my ultimate goals are a cure for cancer and relief to pain and suffering in the world.
What made you interested in colon cancer research?
Colon cancer has afflicted many people and although we have made improvements, a large group of people are still suffering.
Tell us about your past work and research efforts in the past and its significance to colon cancer.
My past work as a surgeon in training at Texas Tech Health Science Center in Lubbock Texas, where I will return to finish my training this July, has and will prepare me to treat individuals who have colon cancer surgically. My research efforts at the University of Michigan have focused on patients who have colon cancer that has spread to other organs where surgery is no longer a cure.
When did you first know that you wanted to work in surgery, and why were you so passionate about that?
During my third year of surgical training, I was involved in the care of a child that was diagnosed with cancer that was not able to be cured by surgery alone. We employed the help of other physicians who were research scientists for the care of the child. That experience helped refine my focus into pursuing a career where I could not only alleviate suffering with surgery but also investigate the cancer itself to further enhance the life of the patients where surgery alone was not a cure.
Describe the current colorectal cancer research you are conducting.
Immune therapy is currently used to treat a small subset of patients with colon cancer. In this small group of people, the tumor itself is unique and the treatment is effective often giving patients a cure. We are looking at colon cancer at a microscopic level to understand how the cancer cells are interacting with other cells. Understanding the immune cells in the tumor is just as important as understanding the cancer cells in determining how immune therapy works on specific individuals and not others. We are currently investigating the interactions between these cells. In doing so, we see patterns emerging in different patients with colon cancer. Each patient has a different pattern of cell types and some patients have similar patterns to each other. We found that patients who share a particular pattern of cells in the tumor are likely to benefit from immune therapy thus increasing the number of people who can receive and benefit from its treatment.
What is your mission and goals in the current work that you are doing?
My primary overall mission is to cure colon cancer. Although a daunting task, I believe it is possible. The cohesive and dynamic team in the Department of Surgery at the University of Michigan has brought together many individual’s research strengths into one collaborative unit where thoughts, ideas, and expertise can meld together for the improvement of the lives of patients. Our goals are to develop new ways of analyzing tumor cells and their interactions with other cells as well as increasing the collaborative environment with other physicians and surgeons to better the quality of patient’s lives.
What are your goals for your future?
I will finish surgical training at Texas Tech Health Science Center in Lubbock Texas and pursue a career in academic research as a surgeon-scientist. I have learned the importance of a team approach, a model I will take with me and employ when I establish a laboratory in the future. I plan to focus on innovative surgical and research techniques as well as foster a rich collaborative environment with not only other physicians and researchers but also foundations and the community to bring information and new treatments to patients as quickly as possible.
What would a colorectal cancer breakthrough mean for millions of people?
I do think we are close to a breakthrough! We were ecstatic to discover the possibility of another group of individuals with colon cancer that may very well benefit from immune therapy which is already being used in a smaller group of people. A breakthrough for a cure would not only impact people who have cancer, but also their friends, family members and co-workers. We are all connected in one way or another and any impact on the health and prosperity of even one person can influence the world.
Why is it so important that we all support research conducted in the field of colon cancer treatment and prevention?
As surgeons, we are able to help people immediately by removing colon cancer itself, this can alleviate pain, stop the cancer from spreading, and for many people this is a cure. Sometimes however when someone has surgery, colon cancer can come back. In addition, some people learn they have cancer after the colon cancer has already spread. In these cases research is the future hope for a cure. Individuals and foundations like the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation are vital for a cure. Funding for research is scarce not only for researchers themselves but for the equipment and resources needed for study. Support from the community is vital to a future cure.
How has the 2019 Colorectal Cancer Research Scholar Award changed your life?
This award really has confirmed the focus of my career. I feel supported in the research I am conducting but also feel supported as a researcher, this has propelled my energy and focus toward my future goals in knowing that the community supports not only my research but myself as a surgeon-scientist.
The Colon Cancer Foundation would like to thank all of our volunteers for their hard work and donations to make the 2019 Colorectal Cancer Research Scholar Award possible. Learn how you support Dr. Lazarus and work toward a cure for colorectal cancer at our website.
You may have heard that the American Cancer Society recently reduced its screening guidelines for colorectal cancer to 45-years-old. What does that mean and why were the screening guidelines reduced from 50-years-old? Learn more about what early age onset colorectal cancer is and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Why were the colorectal screening guidelines reduced?
The American Cancer Society recently reduced the standard screening age for those at average risk of colorectal cancer for multiple reasons. The first, and possibly most important, is the increase of diagnoses at younger ages. Early age onset colorectal cancer occurs when people who are under 50-years-old develop colon cancer. While diagnoses over the age of 50-years-old and above are decreasing, those under 50-years-old are seeing higher rates of the disease. Reducing the screening age is one way to ensure that those diagnosed with early age onset colon cancer have a better chance of fighting the disease.
What can I do to prevent early age onset colorectal cancer?
Aside from regular screenings starting at 45-years-old, there are multiple ways that you can lower your risk for early age onset colorectal cancer. First, you can eat healthily and stay at a healthy weight. Avoid process meats and sugar, while adding in more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the first steps to making sure you stay healthy as you age. Second, learn about your family history. If anyone has had colorectal cancer in your family, you may be more prone to developing the disease. Additionally, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease may increase your risk of colorectal cancer. Finally, pay attention to early symptoms. If you notice changes in your bowel movements or increase in fatigue, talk to your physician about the symptoms.
If you think you may be at risk for early age onset colorectal cancer, reach out to your family physician. Early detection is key in survival rates for colorectal cancer, so make sure to take your symptoms seriously and stay on top of your health.
Learn more about colorectal cancer and stay up-to-date by reading our blog.
Colorectal cancer, commonly known as colon cancer, is one of the world’s deadliest cancers. However, there is a lot of confusion about the disease. Know the facts about colorectal cancer and what puts you at risk.
What is colorectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer occurs where there are abnormal cells that divide and survive within your color or the rectum. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer often starts as a noncancerous growth, called a polyp. The most common type is an adenomatous polyp, also known as an adenoma. While one-third of people can expect to develop at least one adenoma, only 10 percent are estimated to turn into cancer. The chance that the adenoma becomes cancerous increases as it gets bigger.
How likely am I to get colorectal cancer?
In 2019, there will be around 101,420 new cases of colon cancer and 44,180 new cases of rectal cancer. Right now, your lifetime odds of developing colorectal cancer is 1 in 22 for men and 1 in 24 for women. However, there are various other factors that will affect your likeliness to develop the disease. The American Cancer Society predicts that there are over one million colorectal cancer survivors today.
Why are men more likely to get colorectal cancer than women?
Colorectal cancer is 30 percent more likely to occur in men than women. Risk factors, such as likeliness to smoke cigarettes and hormones, play a large role in making cancer more prominent in men. According to studies from the American Cancer Society, the median age for colon cancer diagnoses in men is 68-years-old and for women is 72-years-old. The median age for colon cancer diagnoses for both men and women is 63-years-old.
What is the survival rate for colorectal cancer?
Luckily, deaths related to colorectal cancer are decreasing due to earlier screening and advanced technology. According to the American Cancer Society, the relative survival rate for colorectal cancer is at 65 percent at five years after diagnoses and 58 percent at 10 years after diagnoses. One way to increase your chance of fighting this deadly disease is to follow the screening guidelines and pay attention to early warning signs of colorectal cancer.
Learn more about colorectal cancer through our other blogs and get involved with the Colon Cancer Foundation to help us support colorectal cancer survivors and their families.
This month, honor the thousands of colon cancer patients, survivors, and champions by spreading awareness regarding colorectal cancer during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Since 2000, the colorectal cancer community has mobilized during the month of March to raise awareness, increase education and convince loved ones to get screened. There are multiple ways to get involved during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, starting with learning more about colorectal cancer.
Get educated about colorectal cancer
While colorectal cancer in adults over 50-years-old has declined, colorectal cancer is on the rise among younger generations. Today, even teenagers are being diagnosed at alarmingly greater rates. Around 13,500 people under the age of 50 will become diagnosed with colon cancer. One of the largest issues that screenings do no begin until 50, so these diagnoses will often become late-stage diagnoses. Make sure to have the conversation about colorectal cancer with your loved ones and your doctors earlier than later.
Wear blue to show your support
March 1 is officially Dress in Blue Day, but you can wear blue all month long to show support for colorectal cancer survivors and patients. Encourage your workplace and friends to wear blue to get the conversation about colorectal cancer started. Make sure to post to social media and tag the Colon Cancer Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Participate in the 16th Annual Colon Cancer Challenge
Join us for the 16th Annual Colon Cancer Challenge on March 24 to show support for those with colorectal cancer and raise funds for the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation. We are ecstatic to host the challenge this year at the Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island. In 2018, an estimated 135,000 Americans were diagnosed with colorectal cancer. If caught early enough, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent. With the 16th Annual Colon Cancer Challenge, we can work together to reduce these fatalities. Whether you participate in the 5K or spearhead fundraising efforts among your friends, you are helping the Colon Cancer Foundation to improve the life of current patients, survivors and future patients of this deadly disease. No matter what distance you cover, you will make up ground in the race to prevent colorectal cancer.
Whether you choose to dress in blue or attend the 16th Annual Colon Cancer Challenge — we hope you do both — make sure to show your support during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Even after the month of March, you can help us fight colorectal cancer with the “Eighty by 2018.” Take the pledge to get screened, choose a healthy way of eating and lead a physically active life.
The Colon Cancer Foundation (CCF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to a World Without Colorectal Cancer through awareness, prevention, screening, and research.