March 1, 2024

Colon cancer screening made easy via Center for Healthy Living’s Cologuard campaign

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, which is a great time for qualifying individuals and their family members to take advantage of lifesaving screening options for colon cancer (also referred to as colorectal cancer).

The Center for Healthy Living is offering Cologuard, a noninvasive stool-based test that detects blood and abnormal DNA associated with colon cancer and pre-cancer. Note: To utilize Cologuard via the CHL, individuals do not have to be established patients with providers at any of the CHL locations. 

Colorectal screening rates for Purdue employees have increased from 61% in 2022 to 65% in 2023.

“Human Resources — Benefits and the CHL are committed to helping make colon cancer screening easy and accessible to Purdue employees,” said Candace Shaffer, associate vice president of benefits and payroll in Human Resources. “Our continued collaboration with Cologuard allows us to fulfill that commitment and also provides us the opportunity to offer an additional preventive screening to our population. We would very much like to see a continued increase in the percentage of Purdue employees who are 45 years and older have some type of colon cancer screening: colonoscopy, fecal occulant test or Cologuard.”

Covered by Purdue’s health plans, Cologuard screening supports the financial wellness pillar — as well as the physical health pillar — of the Healthy Boiler Program, and is open to all qualifying benefits-eligible Purdue employees on the West Lafayette, Fort Wayne and Northwest campuses and spouses covered on a Purdue health plan.

Cologuard is not intended for high-risk individuals, including those with a personal history of colon cancer. The following restrictions also apply:

  1. Must be between the ages of 45 and 85.
  2. No personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis or colonic polyps.
  3. No Cologuard screening within the past three years.
  4. Must not have had a colonoscopy in the last 10 years.

Employees or covered spouses interested in using Cologuard should complete a prescreening questionnaire on the Healthy Boiler Portal. Following the questionnaire completion and submission, CHL staff will reach out to schedule an appointment.

  • After the CHL appointment, a Cologuard kit will be delivered to the patient’s home.
  • Patient completes and returns the Cologuard kit to Cologuard/Exact Sciences in a prepaid envelope via U.S. mail.
  • Results will be delivered to the CHL.
  • CHL staff will schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss results and next steps.

“Screening is the best way to prevent colon cancer,” Shaffer added. “And we hope that our Purdue community will take advantage of this campaign to learn where they stand in regard to their colon health. CHL staff members will address any questions or concerns employees might have, including helping those who don’t fit the Cologuard screening requirements find other options as well as helping those who do utilize Cologuard plan for what’s next based on their results.”

For more information, visit the Screening for colon cancer with Cologuard webpage, the Cologuard webpage or call the CHL at 765-494-0111.

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