Exact Sciences today announced it is teaming up with Madison professional golfer Jerry Kelly to help drive home the importance of colorectal cancer screening. Beginning at this week’s American Family Insurance Championship, Kelly will wear a Cologuard-branded hat for the next two years at tournaments around the country to help raise awareness of colon cancer and the importance of regular screening beginning at age 50 for individuals at average risk.
“We’re joining with Jerry to remind people that turning 50 isn’t just a milestone, it’s a time to take control of your health,” said Kevin Conroy, chairman and chief executive officer of Exact Sciences. “Together we’ll be working to raise awareness about colon cancer, the urgent need for screening, and Cologuard as a noninvasive option that can be completed at home.”
A longtime presence on tour, Kelly, who turned 50 in November 2016, is known for a blue-collar work ethic and grinder mentality befitting his Midwestern roots. A member of the 2003 Presidents Cup team, he has played in more than 600 tournaments, earning three wins, 91 top tens and 194 top 25 finishes. Kelly currently ranks 31st on the PGA Tour all-time money list, with career earnings of more than $28.8 million.
“Exact Sciences is a leader in early cancer detection and Cologuard is a breakthrough technology that’s changed the way hundreds of thousands of Americans are getting screened for colon cancer,” Kelly said. “It’s exciting to join Exact Sciences in helping improve lives through cancer screening and awareness. I look forward to representing Cologuard and to encouraging people to talk to their doctor about colon cancer screening options that best fit their lifestyle.”
Cologuard uses the DNA and blood protein found in a person’s stool to detect biomarkers associated with colon cancer and precancerous growths. Once ordered by a doctor, a Cologuard box is delivered to a patient’s home via UPS. The patient collects their sample at a convenient time and uses a prepaid shipping label to send the specimen to Exact Sciences’ laboratories. Doctors receive test results within a few weeks. Cologuard is only available by prescription and individuals need to discuss their options with their doctor, as Cologuard is not for everyone.
Colon cancer is widely known as one of the most preventable, yet least prevented forms of cancer. It’s the No. 2 cancer killer in the U.S., claiming 50,000 lives per year – more than both breast cancer (41,000/year) and prostate cancer (26,000/year). Despite colorectal cancer’s preventability, more than 35 million Americans age 50 and older are not current with screening guidelines.