UPS and Cologuard make it easy to get screened for colon cancer

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
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What we do: At UPS, we ship Cologuard – a noninvasive, at-home colon cancer screening test – to customers around the nation. With our team of more than 10,000 healthcare logistics experts, we deliver kits directly to patient homes and return time-critical test specimens back to the lab within 96 hours. 

Why it matters: Colon cancer is on the rise in people under age 50*, and about 75% of patients have no previous family history**. The good news? When caught in the early stages, this form of cancer is treatable about 90% of the time.

We will deliver and pickup Cologuard test kits over 1 million times in March alone.

A million is a big number. Let’s zoom in on one particularly impactful shipment.

Meet Leigh Anne, colon cancer survivor:

“Each time I went for my physical, my doctor would remind me that I had not had a colonoscopy. Well … that wasn't high on my list of fun things to do. And so each year I left with a vague promise: ‘Yeah, I'll do that. I'll get to that.’”

Indiana special ed teacher Leigh Anne had no prior family history of colon cancer. On top of being asymptomatic, she didn’t want to have to take time off work for an invasive procedure that would require anesthesia – barriers that prevent many people from getting screened.

“I really didn't see the point. I had no issues at all that would’ve led me to believe that there was any problem.”

That all changed after her doctor persuaded her to try Cologuard:

“I took the test, and it was positive. I kept my promise to my physician and had a colonoscopy the week of Thanksgiving. The cancer was found, and I had eight inches of my colon removed. When I returned home I received a call from my surgeon saying the cancer was stage one – I would not need radiation or chemotherapy, and I was very aware that was probably the best news I could have received.”***

UPS has worked with Exact Sciences from the beginning to customize their Cologuard operation. Our expertise in small package, warehousing and healthcare logistics makes us uniquely qualified to make a difference in patients’ lives, like Leigh Anne and many others. The demand for lab and specimen logistics services is skyrocketing; and as a result, customers are turning to UPS Healthcare for innovative solutions. Thanks to UPS’s industry-leading on-time delivery and forward and reverse logistics capabilities, we’re able to continue changing lives.

Here's how it works: Test kits use specialized UPS labels that are unique to the recipient. This ensures the test kit that is sent out and the specimen returned to the lab belong to the same individual, preventing errors. Kits are dropped off to homes by UPS drivers, and then returned either by scheduled pickup or via The UPS Store.

The impact: With Exact Sciences, we’re doing our part to boost the number of colorectal cancer screenings. This work is critical for medically underserved communities where access to healthcare screenings may be limited, and for those who depend on home healthcare services due to lack of access to facilities or transportation.

“For UPS to deliver and pick up, you may be dealing with any number of situations in which transportation is not available. So, the social worker in me says ‘eliminate as many barriers as you can,’” Leigh Anne said. “And I was grateful that between Cologuard and UPS, those barriers were lessened and even eliminated in my case.”

Zoom out: Cologuard is for adults age 45 and older at average risk for colon cancer, available by prescription only. It’s covered by most insurance policies, requires no prep and is shipped reliably by UPS all year round. So, there’s really no excuse not to get screened.

How To Get Cologuard | Patient Site

*Siegel RL Miller KD, Wagle NS, Jemal A. Cancer statistics, 2023. CA Cancer J Clin. 2023;73(1):17-48.
**NCI. Genetics of Colorectal Cancer (PDQ®)-Health Professional Version. Last Updated February 2, 2024. Accessed March 12, 2024.
***This story reflects one individual's experience. Results may vary.

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