Colonoscopy vs Cologuard

  • There are over 100,000 cases of colon cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. There are over 50,000 colon cancer deaths in the U.S. annually. The survival rate of colon cancer is very high if it is detected and treated at an early stage. This is particularly important if you have a family history of colon cancer.
  • Cologuard is a do-it-yourself, mail-in DNA Test that helps detect some colon cancers. Cologuard may cost less than a Colonoscopy depending on your Health Plan. But, a positive or false positive indication from the Cologuard test may require a follow-up Colonoscopy for accuracy. In many cases, Insurance Benefits only allow for one, fully covered colon screening. Therefore, the cost of a follow-up Colonoscopy may not be covered by your Health Plan, potentially resulting in costs of thousands of dollars.
  • Because Cologuard is a DNA test, it does not involve a visual element of identifying polyps and there is no removal of cell tissue for cancer testing (Pathology Test).
  • Cologuard only detects the presence of potentially abnormal DNA through testing of your stool sample. 42% of the time it fails to detect precancerous polyps. It detects only 69% of polyps with high grade Dysplasia, which is a term that describes how much your polyp looks like cancer under the microscope. These statistics published by the government’s National Institute of Health (NIH) provide troubling data and indicate that Cologuard is far less accurate than a Colonoscopy.
  • A Colonoscopy can prevent colon cancer by removing cancerous polyps before they become cancerous.
  • A Colonoscopy examines your large bowel using a thin, high-tech tube with a miniature video camera at the end. The GI Physician can remove any detected polyps during the procedure and have them tested for cancer at a Pathology Lab. The entire procedure is completely painless and usually takes less than 30 minutes.
  • Colonoscopies and Pathology Testing detect 92% of Colorectal Cancers and Precancerous Polyps. That’s a huge and potentially lifesaving difference that supports a colonoscopy over all other screening methods.
  • Hands down, getting a Colonoscopy is by far, the most accurate way of detecting colon cancer. It remains the gold standard that is backed up with decades of proven results. Colonoscopies results are complete and more reliable, giving you peace of mind in preventing colorectal cancer.
  • If you choose to get a Cologuard screening, we strongly advise that you contact you Insurance Provider to determine what you would have to pay if you need a follow up Colonscopy. If you need a Colonscopy as result of your Cologuard test, your screening becomes coded as diagnostic (not screening) and you may be required to pay the deductible and usual co-pay.

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