Cologuard in Practice: How One Physician Is Getting More Patients Screened

 Dr. Brian Fenmore is a passionate and hardworking physician.

“I enjoy what I do very much and am blessed to have developed long-term relationships with my patients,” he says.

For more than 30 years, Dr. Fenmore has cared for his patients and sought out the best practices to treat them. His father, who was also a physician, was his mentor, and always encouraged him to use the best technology for his patients. Exact Sciences’ Cologuard is a technology that he has eagerly embraced.

He was an early adopter of Cologuard.

“Cologuard has been magnificent for our practice,” says Dr. Fenmore, who has ordered the test dozens of times. “It is well received by both our staff and our patients, and is easily completed by patients.”

Cologuard is the first and only FDA-approved, noninvasive stool DNA colorectal cancer screening test. It uses a combination of DNA markers to find elevated levels of altered DNA and/or hemoglobin shed by cancer and precancerous polyps into the colon.

Cologuard is patient friendly, easy to use, and doesn’t require any of the preparation associated with other screening methods. It is for adults 50 years and older who are at average risk for colorectal cancer, and it is available by prescription only.

Dr. Fenmore has had only positive experiences with Cologuard, from the lab to the customer care center.

“Our experience with the lab has been wonderful,” Dr. Fenmore says. “The lab and customer care center make Cologuard the simplest test we offer to our patients, with ease of ordering the test for our staff and ease of completing the test for our patients. The whole experience has been positive for both my staff and patients.”

Dr. Fenmore knows how much of a difference Cologuard can make.

The first positive Cologuard test result in his practice involved a patient who had undergone a colonoscopy only two years before. The patient’s positive Cologuard result was followed by a colonoscopy, which detected four precancerous polyps.

The polyps were removed. Polyps progress to cancer slowly, taking 10 to 15 years to turn into cancer. Early detection is paramount. Unfortunately, more than 60 percent of colorectal cancers are detected in the late stages, leading to poor outcomes for many of those patients.

For example, the five-year survival rate for those diagnosed with stage I or II colorectal cancer is approximately 90 percent. But the five-year survival rate for those diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer is about 10 percent.

“My practice is focused on the early detection of disease and this approach has been enthusiastically accepted by my patients,” Dr. Fenmore says. “Cologuard fits into that approach.”

Cologuard is indicated to screen adults of either sex, 50 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. 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. Cologuard performance when used for repeat testing has not been evaluated or established. For more information about Cologuard, visit Rx Only.

Topics: Exact Sciences News

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