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Old 04-05-2021, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
4,492 posts, read 10,402,562 times
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My PCP just called to let me know that my cologuard was positive. I'm 51. I'm trying to get into for a colonoscopy now. She was actually quite unhelpful.

I have hemorrhoids (off and on) and asked if that could affect it and she said she didn't know. I asked her what the false positive rate was and she didn't know.

I guess I'm not really seeing the value of this test since negative doesn't mean you don't have cancer and positive leads to a colonoscopy any way.

Anyway, I'm not having any symptoms or anything, but I'm scared to death. I'm also annoyed because I went for my physical and assumed I'd be getting a colonoscopy and then she suggested I just try the cologuard.

At this point, my dr is simply saying I probably have a polyp, cancer, or some type of inflammation in my colon. Not helpful at all.


Anyway, has anyone else been thru this?
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Old 04-05-2021, 05:51 PM
 
1,584 posts, read 751,211 times
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Many different things which have nothing to do with cancer can cause a positive on the Cologuard test. Don't lose any sleep over the test. Just schedule a colonoscopy exam in the near future. More than likely you'll be fine.
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Old 04-05-2021, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
4,492 posts, read 10,402,562 times
Reputation: 9379
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas863 View Post
Many different things which have nothing to do with cancer can cause a positive on the Cologuard test. Don't lose any sleep over the test. Just schedule a colonoscopy exam in the near future. More than likely you'll be fine.
Thank you.
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Old 04-05-2021, 05:58 PM
 
Location: on the wind
13,588 posts, read 7,004,638 times
Reputation: 44639
Quote:
Originally Posted by bande1102 View Post
My PCP just called to let me know that my cologuard was positive. I'm 51. I'm trying to get into for a colonoscopy now. She was actually quite unhelpful.

I have hemorrhoids (off and on) and asked if that could affect it and she said she didn't know. I asked her what the false positive rate was and she didn't know.

I guess I'm not really seeing the value of this test since negative doesn't mean you don't have cancer and positive leads to a colonoscopy any way.

Anyway, I'm not having any symptoms or anything, but I'm scared to death. I'm also annoyed because I went for my physical and assumed I'd be getting a colonoscopy and then she suggested I just try the cologuard.

At this point, my dr is simply saying I probably have a polyp, cancer, or some type of inflammation in my colon. Not helpful at all.


Anyway, has anyone else been thru this?
Positive for what? Blood? DNA markers? You didn't say which. Positive for blood could be due to hemorrhoids or some other source of minor bleeding.

Look at it this way. You have no symptoms or concerns. You didn't mention anything about personal risk factors so we can't comment on that. You wanted a routine screening. The doc who prescribed the Cologuard test was starting with the least invasive (and least expensive) screening test. Isn't it a good thing for healthcare providers to be conservative first and only go further if necessary? So many people scream about MDs attempting to do just the opposite and they scream even louder about their co-pays.

Here's info about Cologuard testing, including positivity rate.

https://www.cologuard.com/?gclid=77b...275-2_6-9-2021

Last edited by Parnassia; 04-05-2021 at 06:07 PM..
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
4,492 posts, read 10,402,562 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parnassia View Post
Positive for what? Blood? DNA markers? You didn't say which. Positive for blood could be due to hemorrhoids or some other source of bleeding.

Look at it this way. You have no symptoms or concerns. You didn't mention anything about personal risk factors so we can't comment on that. You wanted a routine screening. The doc who prescribed the Cologuard test was starting with the least invasive (and least expensive) screening test. Isn't it a good thing for prescribing providers to be conservative first and only go further if necessary? So many people scream about MDs attempting to do just the opposite.

Here's info about Cologuard testing, including positivity rate.

https://www.cologuard.com/?gclid=77b...275-2_6-9-2021

Regarding positive for what...she did not say.

Interesting on the cologuard website it says :

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).

I guess my issue is that a colonoscopy is definitive. But I see your point about doing least invasive first.
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:15 PM
 
Location: on the wind
13,588 posts, read 7,004,638 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bande1102 View Post
Regarding positive for what...she did not say.

Interesting on the cologuard website it says :

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).

I guess my issue is that a colonoscopy is definitive. But I see your point about doing least invasive first.
In other words, in exchange for being non-invasive this test doesn't catch everything 100% of the time. A colonoscopy is pretty definitive. Get it done and go from there. Be glad you had the choice. Many of us didn't...colonoscopy from the get go. I've had several, all negative with no complications, just annoyance.
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:24 PM
 
10,551 posts, read 6,510,076 times
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I'm the same age as you (51). I have a personal history of breast cancer, and my dad had colon cancer, and we share a cancer-disposing gene. So the Cologuard test was not recommended for me. I've had one colonoscopy so far and it was not a big deal, and was totally worth it for the peace of mind of knowing it was completely clear.

I can understand why people at low risk choose Cologuard, but I agree with you--people should be told its limitations and be able to make an informed choice about whether they would have a colonoscopy right off the bat. Fingers crossed that your result is a false alarm.
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Alexander Archipelago
7,073 posts, read 3,616,445 times
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Wife and I both did the test last year. Mine was negative, hers was positive so she got a colonoscopy that didn't find any problems. We are in early 60's.
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:36 PM
 
13,861 posts, read 22,477,138 times
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Are they using the cologuard test as a replacement for the Hemoccult test? I take one of those every year. And I do a colonoscopy every five years.
__________________
Solly says — Be nice!
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:42 PM
 
16 posts, read 2,250 times
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There's a risk benefit ratio that one makes an informed decision on. Colonoscopy does have risk associated with it and not unheard of having a perforated colon although happy quite rare. The preparation can be hard on some people so I don't know if that is the case with you or not but it can be very unpleasant. Most people I know would rather have a Cologuard vs a colonoscopy.

For high risk individuals Cologuard it is not recommended because of the false negative and positive rates. Colonoscopy is recommended for those with a higher risk.
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