Real Cologuard® story: Janet

Screened with Cologuard®

Janet sees her good health as the gift she gives to herself and those around her.

Though she’s now happily retired, Janet keeps her days full and fulfilling through volunteering in her community. It’s similar service on which she built her career – helping those with special needs.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle enabled Janet to continue to serve others. She has stayed active through exercise she loves – hiking and taking long walks with her dogs – and has chosen to eat a plant-based diet. But after a conversation with her trusted nurse practitioner, Janet knew there was more she could be doing to take charge of her health.

Janet put off getting screened for colorectal cancer for years – she had no family history of colorectal cancer and admits to being nervous about screening.

As time passed, Janet understood her healthy daily habits didn’t give her an excuse not to get screened. During an annual appointment in 2018, Janet’s trusted nurse practitioner discussed screening options available to Janet, who was at average risk. Of the options that were appropriate for her, Janet chose Cologuard. She was encouraged by having a choice and agreed to take the test. 

“I knew I needed to do something, so when she recommended Cologuard, it just seemed like a really good thing to do,” Janet said.

A few weeks after completing the test and sending her sample to the lab, Janet’s nurse practitioner shared her test result – it was negative.

“I felt very good [after receiving my negative result]. Of course, it was the result that everybody would hope for. I was just glad I had done it, because with good results I now [have] peace of mind.”

After getting screened and receiving her result, Janet said she was encouraged to get screened again when she was due. And in the meantime, she’s proud to share her experience with her friends to raise awareness about making healthy screening choices. With a better understanding of her health, Janet feels empowered to spend more time doing what she loves—serving others.

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.