Real Cologuard® story: Brenda

Screened with Cologuard: Colorectal cancer survivor

Brenda is a fighter.

As a breast cancer survivor, she already knew the importance of focusing on her health and staying on top of regular checkups. Between frequent trips with her husband in their camper, Brenda made time at home to visit her trusted nurse practitioner, Mary.

During a routine checkup, Mary encouraged Brenda to get screened for colorectal cancer—Brenda was 57, and she was overdue for screening.

Mary discussed options available to Brenda, who was at average risk. Of the colorectal cancer screening options appropriate for Brenda,

Brenda chose Cologuard—taking the test at her home in Savannah, Georgia, before hitting the road for her next trip.

“I knew [Mary] was really nervous when she called me and said, ‘It’s positive, and we need to hurry up,’” Brenda said. A diagnostic colonoscopy following Brenda’s positive Cologuard result revealed Stage I colorectal cancer, and she was booked for surgery to remove the tumor. Brenda never thought it would happen to her, and she knew her husband was scared, having lost his own father due to colorectal cancer complications.

Following surgery, Brenda did not need any additional treatment. She was back to her routine within a few weeks and was ready to hit the road once again with her husband.

“A lot of people out there think, ‘It’s not going to happen to me.’ Getting the word out and getting people screened is the most important thing. Don’t take your life for granted.”

Brenda and her husband have kept busy doing what they love most—traveling the country in their camper. And they have a lot to celebrate: today, Brenda says she’s cancer-free. She says she feels lucky to have caught her cancer early, and she’s excited for what the future holds.

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 diagnostic 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.