If you need to screen for colon cancer but want to avoid a traditional colonoscopy, consider Cologuard®. This relatively new screening test provides a quick and convenient way to determine your risk of colon cancer from the comfort of your home. At Bay Area Advanced Gastroenterology Care, board-certified gastroenterologist Ramesh Ashwath, MD, FACG, MBBS, and the team offer Cologuard. To schedule an appointment at the Brandon, Florida, office, call the office or book online today.
Cologuard is an at-home colon cancer screening test that analyzes the DNA in your stool. Certain changes to your DNA can alert your doctor to cancerous cells or precancerous polyps in your large intestine.
Cologuard is much quicker and less invasive than a traditional colonoscopy. In addition, you conduct the test at home, so there’s no need to schedule an in-office appointment.
At Bay Area Advanced Gastroenterology Care, the team typically recommends the Cologuard at-home colon cancer screening test for people with an “average” risk of colorectal cancer. You’ll likely qualify if you’re between the ages of 45-50 and have no symptoms or a family history of colorectal cancer.
The Cologuard at-home colon cancer screening test involves five steps:
If your doctor determines that you can benefit from Cologuard, they write you a prescription. Cologuard then sends a kit to your home that includes a probe and lab tube set, a bracket and collection bucket, a solution to preserve your sample, and a mailing label to send the box back.
Follow the provided instructions and set up the bracket and collection bucket. When the urge strikes, have a bowel movement over the toilet and into the container.
Use the plastic probe to collect a sample of your stool. Carefully place the sample in the sterilized tube.
Mix the preservative solution with your stool sample. Screw the lid on tightly and fill out the necessary documentation. Make sure to note the time and date the sample was collected.
Put your paperwork and stool sample into the provided box. Attach the label and ship it back to Cologuard within 24 hours.
The results of your Cologuard at-home colon cancer screening test take about two weeks to process. Once Cologuard analyzes your sample, they contact the team at Bay Area Advanced Gastroenterology Care with the results.
A Cologuard test can be positive or negative. Negative means there were no precancerous or cancerous cells detected. If you receive a positive sample, your doctor will recommend further investigation with a traditional colonoscopy.
To learn more about Cologuard, make an appointment at Bay Area Advanced Gastroenterology Care. Book online or call to speak with a member of the support staff today.