Katie Couric and Cologuard Team Up to Spread Awareness and Urgency for People to Get Screened for Colon Cancer

National campaign highlights the importance of early detection and the need to start screening at age 45

NEW YORK and MADISON, Wis. – March 7, 2022 – Katie Couric, award winning journalist and colorectal cancer advocate who normalized talking about colon cancer more than two decades ago, today announced she has teamed up with Exact Sciences (NASDAQ: EXAS), the maker of Cologuard®, to highlight the urgent need for people to get screened. 

Entitled ‘Mission to Screen,’ the year-long marketing and social media campaign will educate Americans about the importance of early detection, starting colon cancer screening at age 45 for average-risk individuals, and the availability of multiple screening options. 

Couric’s first husband, Jay Monahan, died from colon cancer in 1998. She is joined in the campaign by their 29-year-old daughter Ellie, who got married last year. 

“We lost Jay in the prime of his life. He didn’t get to see his daughters grow up and witness major milestones. That still crushes me,” said Couric. “I wanted to prevent other families from experiencing this kind of tragedy and decided to dedicate myself to educating people about the life-changing power of screening.”

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women of all races.[i] It is on the rise in people younger than 50.[ii] In response, the American Cancer Society updated its guidelines in 2018 to recommend regular screening start at age 45 for average-risk patients.[iii] Other medical organizations and guidelines followed suit. Still, approximately 44 million average-risk Americans aged 45-plus remain unscreened.[iv]*

“All adults 45 years or older should be screened for colon cancer,” said Kevin Conroy, chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences. “Together with Katie, we’re working to help raise awareness about early detection and the availability of colon cancer screening options, including non-invasive at-home tests like Cologuard. People need to feel empowered to take charge of their own health and wellness and have these discussions about screening with their health care provider, friends, and loved ones.”

Approximately 70 percent of people diagnosed with colon cancer have no family history.[v] Screening is vital because it can detect colon cancer in earlier stages, when it’s more treatable.[vi],[vii]

Exact Sciences is the maker of Cologuard, an FDA-approved, noninvasive stool-based DNA screening test for adults 45 and older who are at average risk for colon cancer. Since its launch in 2014, nearly 8 million people have used Cologuard to screen for colon cancer at home. At-home screening options have proven to be particularly crucial during the pandemic. In a three-month period ending June 5, 2020, an estimated 1.7 million colonoscopies were missed, as many Americans pushed off their regular screenings amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Cologuard is convenient, effective, and accessible. Once prescribed by a health care provider, it is delivered to and picked up from one’s home. Cologuard requires no preparation, no time off from work, and no changes to an individual’s diet or medication. It finds 92% of colorectal cancers by detecting altered DNA and/or blood in stool, and is covered by most health insurance plans. Nationwide, more than 94% of all patients have no out-of-pocket costs when screening with Cologuard.[viii] 

As a tireless advocate for colon cancer research and awareness, Couric views the new campaign as a continuation of the work she began years ago.

“I’m touched by all the people who stop me in the street and say, ‘I got screened because of you,’” Couric said. “Now, with more people eligible and more options than ever, the time is right to help a new generation of Americans get screened.” 

Launching today to coincide with Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, ‘Mission to Screen’ will be placed in broadcast and digital outlets. It includes a national television commercial, a website featuring interviews with real doctors and patients, and a social media initiative encouraging people to share their reasons to screen. To learn more visit www.missiontoscreen.com.


About Exact Sciences Corp.

A leading provider of cancer screening and diagnostic tests, Exact Sciences relentlessly pursues smarter solutions providing the clarity to take life-changing action, earlier. Building on the success of Cologuard and Oncotype tests, Exact Sciences is investing in its product pipeline to support patients before and throughout their cancer diagnosis and treatment. Exact Sciences unites visionary collaborators to help advance the fight against 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.

Note: Oncotype is a registered trademark of Genomic Health, Inc. Exact Sciences and Cologuard are trademarks or registered trademarks of Exact Sciences Corporation.

About Cologuard

Cologuard was approved by the FDA in August 2014, and results from Exact Sciences' prospective 90-site, point-in-time, 10,000-patient pivotal trial in adults 50 years of age or older 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 the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2016, 2021) and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (2016). Cologuard is indicated 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 Cologuard if you have had adenomas, have inflammatory bowel disease and certain hereditary syndromes, or have 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.

Medicare and most major insurers cover Cologuard. For more information about Cologuard, visit www.cologuard.com.

Exact Sciences

Media Contact:

Katie Boyce
Exact Sciences Corp.

Investor Contact:

Megan Jones
Exact Sciences Corp.

Katie Couric Media

Jaret Keller
Key Group Worldwide

[i] Cancer facts & figures 2021. American Cancer Society; 2021.

[ii] Siegel RL, Miller KD, Goding Sauer A, et al. Colorectal cancer statistics, 2020. CA Cancer J Clin. 2020;70(3):145-164. doi:10.3322/caac.21601

[iii] Wolf AMD, Fontham ETH, Church TR, et al. Colorectal cancer screening for average‐risk adults: 2018 guidelines update from the American Cancer Society. CA Cancer J Clin. 2018;68(4):250‐281. doi:10.3322/caac.21457

[iv] Piscitello A, Edwards DK. Estimating the screening-eligible population size, aged 45 to 74, at average risk to develop colorectal cancer in the United States. Cancer Prev Res.2020;13(5):443-448. *Estimate based on the US population aged 45-74 as of 2018, adjusted for the reported rates of high-risk conditions and prior screening history for CRC.

[v] NCI. Genetics of colorectal cancer (PDQ) - health professional version.   Accessed February 4, 2022. https://www.cancer.gov/types/colorectal/hp/colorectal-genetics-pdq#_235_toc

[vi] Colorectal (colon) cancer: what can I do to reduce my risk of colorectal cancer? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed November 9, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/prevention.htm.

[vii] National Cancer Institute. Cancer stat facts: colorectal cancer. Accessed February 4, 2022. https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/colorect.html

[viii] Exact Sciences estimate based on historical patient billing as of June 30, 2021. Rate of coverage varies by state and region. Exceptions for coverage may apply; only your insurer can confirm how Cologuard would be covered for you.


Topics: Colon Cancer Awareness, Press Releases, Partnerships

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