medical illustrationshowing the stages of colon cancerCologuard® is the colon cancer screening test may sound good to a patient who has put off a colonoscopy due to a number of reasons. Many are concerned about the cost, the complexity, heard the prep is inconvenient to their schedule, or just plain embarrassed to have the procedure. When some people heard about Cologuard they started thinking they could just skip the colonoscopy. After all, there are TV ads telling everyone how wonderful and easy Cologuard can be.

How Digestive Care Physicians Feel About Cologuard

The gastroenterologists at Digestive Care Physicians are conflicted about Cologuard. They have real concerns that the direct-to-consumer marketing of the product is overstating its role in helping to solve the serious health problem of colorectal cancer. They have found Cologuard to be an inferior procedure to a colonoscopy. In fact, Cologuard misses 1 out of 13 people who had cancer detected by a screening colonoscopy. The statistics speak for themselves, it’s just too risky to take a short cut when it comes to detecting colon cancer.

Insurance Coverage

However, if a patient refuses to have a colonoscopy, they feel it appropriate to offer Cologuard. Most patient’s insurance will cover the procedure. Then If the Cologuard test comes back positive, the patient will need a follow-up colonoscopy as recommended. Then, the follow up colonoscopy will be considered a therapeutic procedure and may come with a high insurance co-payment. With 45% of positive Cologuard tests being false positive, there are a lot of patients who may have to pay excessive copays and other costs that they wouldn’t have faced if screening colonoscopy was their first screening.

Colon Cancer Potential

According to the American Cancer Society, about one-third to one-half of all individuals will eventually develop one or more adenomas. Although only 10% are estimated to progress to invasive cancer, all adenomas have the potential to become cancerous – and they account for approximately 96% of all colorectal cancers.

The doctors at Digestive Care Physicians try to help their patients understand that missing one day of work or other activities, to have a colonoscopy, and being a little inconvenienced to prevent colorectal cancer is a good deal. Ultimately, we need to help our patients choose the screening test that’s right for them. When you have a consultation with one of our physicians, he or she will provide you with enough information to make an informed decision.

Ready to Schedule That Appointment?

Digestive Care Physicians have 5 convenient locations: Lawrenceville, Alpharetta, Cumming, and Johns Creek, GA. Please call 770-227-2222 to make your appointment.

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