During the holiday season, it can be difficult to stay healthy and keep your lifestyle and fitness goals. However, maintaining a healthy diet and staying active is a key component to helping fight early age onset colon cancer. Find a way to balance the holiday season with your loved ones and also keeping your health a priority with these simple tips.

 

Eat mindfully

While it can be easy to get carried away with holiday eating, make sure to balance your plate with whole foods, fruits and vegetables. A diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables are linked to decreasing your risk of early age onset colorectal cancer and shouldn’t full off of your plate during the holidays. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself with a few sweets, but make sure to balance the rest of your meal.

 

Stay hydrated

The holiday season often brings copious amounts of alcohol. Try limiting yourself to only having a glass or two a night. Alcohol has links to colon and rectal cancer, so make sure to drink in moderation. Make sure to up your water content, too.

 

Stay connected through activities

Consider adding a new family tradition by incorporating activities that get you on your feet. After dinner, go for a walk around your neighborhood with your family or add a few exercises to your evenings while you watch TV together. Find small ways to get moving together while enjoying each other’s company.

 

While you’re focusing on your health this holiday season, also consider giving the gift of life by donating to the Colon Cancer Foundation. Donate today to support colon cancer patients, survivors and the research that helps us understand more about this deadly disease.

 

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.

Have you heard of Giving Tuesday before? It’s the perfect time to show your support for the Colon Cancer Foundation by making a quick and easy donation. Giving Tuesday occurs on the Thursday after Thanksgiving, which means it lands on Dec. 3, 2019, this year. Join the millions of Americans across the country who are showing support for the communities they care about by donating on Giving Tuesday.

 

Why should I donate on Giving Tuesday?

The Colon Cancer Foundation values your time, so we made it easy for you to donate and show your support for colon cancer patients and their families. When you donate through Facebook, 100% of the donations made through Facebook Payments go directly to the Colon Cancer Foundation.

 

How do I donate on Giving Tuesday?

To donate on Giving Tuesday, visit our Facebook page on Dec. 3, 2019. There will be an easy to spot button that will direct you to make a donation. You can also send us a private message if you would like any assistance. Make sure to donate through Facebook on Giving Tuesday to take advantage of Facebook’s match.

 

How else can I show my support for the Colon Cancer Foundation on Giving Tuesday?

We understand that donating may not be the best way to show your support. There are multiple ways to show your support on Giving Tuesday. Make sure to share the Colon Cancer Foundation’s social media posts online and tell your friends about the match. For other volunteer opportunities, please contact us at info@coloncancerchallenge.org or (914) 305-6674.

 

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.

 

“Finding Faith and Hope” – Recognizing National Caregiver Month

My name is Nadya and I would like to share my story with you with the hope that I can spread awareness of early onset colon cancer and the critical role caregivers play in a patient’s cancer journey.

I am in the process of writing a book which I hope to publish. It is called Finding Faith and Hope. The title comes from my name and that of my sister Vera. My sister’s name in Russian means faith and my name means hope.

The book will tell the story of how we “found” each other through the same orphanage, grew up as friends not knowing we were sisters, were adopted by the same parents, and went on to live wonderful lives together as sisters and best friends. To this day I remain hopeful that I will honor Vera with a long, wonderful life.

I first met my twin sister Vera at an orphanage in St. Petersburg, Russia. Surprisingly we did not know we were sisters. We were adopted at the age of 5 years old and moved to the States with our loving family.

Vera was just 25 years old when she was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer on April 20, 2015. She had shown a few signs of symptoms: abdominal pain, bloating and blood in her stool. After several months of tests to rule out other diseases and cancers they ended up finding two liters of fluids in her stomach and determined her devastating diagnosis. We all thought it was a horrible dream, when in reality it was not. Her official diagnosis was signet ring cell cancer. Vera fought through her last days. Her courageous heart gave it all she had. After just eight months she passed away peacefully on December 29, 2015. She was 26 years old.

The overall experience of being a caregiver is a tough one to handle at any age but when you are so young it is very tough. Vera had her whole life ahead of her and that’s what really hit me and continues to affect me, even today. I remember my sister being diagnosed like it was yesterday. Being a twin and having one twin diagnosed at such a young age, you feel a bit guilty that it happened to your other half. We were in shock as a family and I had a roller coaster of emotions to deal with as well as a deep fear that I had colon cancer too. I did get tested and I was okay.

Despite the fact that our story does not have a happy ending, there were many good times we shared during those months of Vera’s illness. Being twins you have a special bond and can’t really get any closer but we did get even closer throughout her journey and it brought out the best in me. I was always there to support her even on my worst days. We had an agreement that I would never visit her on bad days in the hospital because she didn’t want me to feel bad. I think that’s a huge part of why I did so well through her journey because most people would drop their lives to help. Vera wanted me to take care of myself as well as I took care of her. I know my sister didn’t want me to stop going to work, nannying, and coaching. Coaching kept me going through this very difficult time. It was a good distraction that my family and friends could participate in. We played soccer, our favorite sport, together when Vera could still play, and that was a great outlet for all of us.

As a caregiver I made sure that my sister had whatever she needed, whether she just needed a chat, a simple fast food meal, to play soccer, or a car ride to blast her music, I was there. I was her rock, her happy twin when she had some of her worst days, and that’s the best part about being a twin. You always have someone there for you. On the other hand, it was tough for me to be there for her and stay positive and composed – because it’s tough to witness your loved one’s painful journey – but you make the best out of it. That is what some people do realize and do not realize, sometimes it’s the caregiver who has the toughest spot in the situation. However, I did feel I had an incredible amount of support and I still feel that way to this day.

Looking back I know going through the loss of my sister was and is tough especially with the outcome we had.Vera was a beautiful person inside and out. Her personality was amazing. She was so strong throughout her journey. I cannot tell you how proud I was of her.

The loss of someone so special hurts you forever but I know she would want me to live for her and be happy. I’ve raised thousands of dollars for organizations like the Colon Cancer Foundation, the Colon Cancer Alliance, and Cancer Care in honor of her courage.

I continue to share her memories, her essence, and her story. I have shared her story in as many ways as possible including appearances on local television stations. The two most critical points that I want to communicate are the following:

1) Cancer does not discriminate in age. If you have the signs, go get checked.

2) You are not alone. I am not alone and together we will fight this disease until there is a cure.

 

 

With the recent announcement of lowering the standard screening age to 45-years-old, it’s no surprise that colon cancer is on the rise among young adults in developed countries. Despite rates decreasing in older adults  due to increased screening, early-age onset colorectal cancer continues to affect Americans nationwide.

According to the study, colon cancer rates remained the same in 14 countries, fell in three countries and rose in 19 countries. Italy, Austria and Lithuania were the only countries to see a decrease in colon cancer rates among those under 50-years-old.

In America, and most of the other 19 countries were colon cancer rates increased, researchers indicated that the increase in diagnoses occurred in the mid 1990s. While there is no specific reason indicated in the study for the increase, many scientists agree that lifestyle choices often play a role in developing colon cancer. Increasing your exercise and reducing processed meat may decrease your chance of developing cancer.

However, the best thing that you can do is make sure that you get screened and encourage your loved ones too. If you are concerned about you or a loved one developing colon cancer, learn more about early-onset colon cancer. You should get screened at 45-years-old if you have an average risk and earlier if you have a family history of colorectal cancer.

For more information on early-age onset colorectal cancer, please reach out to us at info@coloncancerchallenge.org or (914) 305-6674.

 

A recent study has linked past fitness habits and current physical activity to a lower risk of colorectal cancer. The research shows promising insight into more ways that you can lower your personal risk of developing one of the deadliest cancers.

Study participants who had at least an hour of physical activity a day from age 12 to 22 had a lower risk of adenoma by 7%. Adenoma are polyps that are often used as a prerequisite to colon cancer. Those who started having more physical exercise in their adult lives were able to reduce their adenoma by 9%. Participants in the group who maintained activity from their childhood to their adult lives reduced their risk by 24%.

The study shows that it’s never too late to start exercising because it can have a cumulative effect on your health. Start upping the physical activity in your life by walking a few times a week and building up to more rigorous cardiovascular exercise:

  • Swimming
  • Running
  • Hiking
  • Rowing
  • Cycling
  • Cross-country skiing

Find an exercise that you enjoy doing and incorporate it into your everyday life to reduce your risk of colon cancer. Your health, and your family, will thank you.

Stayed up-to-date on other colorectal cancer news and research with the Colon Cancer Foundation blog.

 

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.