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Quest Diagnostics Campaign Challenges Colorectal Cancer Screening Status Quo
Date:3/31/2008

'Do You Have the Guts?' aims to reach five million in five years

MADISON, N.J., March 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX), the nation's leading provider of diagnostic testing information and services, today announced the launch of a novel campaign designed to help increase compliance with take-home colorectal screening tests. Titled "It's Time to Challenge Colon Cancer: Do You Have the Guts?," the campaign aims to break down barriers to compliance with fecal occult blood tests and increase screening with these convenient take-home screening tools. The goal of the new campaign is to have five million people complete their annual testing over the next five years.

The value of regular health screening is well-recognized in the U.S. Nearly 60 percent of women have an annual Pap test(1) and as many as 79 percent of men receive PSA screening every year for prostate cancer.(2) Yet in one randomized clinical study, only 31% of patients (n=1,818) completed an at-home colorectal screening test.(3) Sadly, despite the availability of these convenient and effective diagnostic tests, nearly 150,000 men and women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year, and one third of these patients will ultimately succumb to the disease.(4) When found early and treated, the five-year relative survival rate for colon cancer is 90%(5), yet less than 40 percent of colorectal cancers are found early.(6)

"We are launching this campaign at the end of Colon Cancer Awareness Month because we want people to remember that this disease strikes every day of every month," said Stephen C. Suffin, M.D., corporate clinical pathologist and interim chief laboratory officer, Quest Diagnostics. "As a worldwide leader in cancer diagnostics, we take seriously our role in patient compliance with annual colorectal cancer screening. Our Challenge is designed to encourage people 50 and over and those at risk to complete annual screening with American Cancer Society (ACS) recommended tests, such as the FDA approved, InSure FIT(TM) test and its painless, non-invasive Blue-Brush Method."

Fecal occult blood tests (FOBTs), including the newer fecal immunochemical tests (FITs), detect blood in the stool that might indicate colorectal cancer or other lower gastrointestinal diseases. These screening tests help identify individuals that are candidates for colonoscopy, even if they do not have overt symptoms of colorectal cancer. This may mean the disease is in its early, more treatable stages, or that they may have precancerous polyps that can be removed during colonoscopy.

The Challenge urges individuals to talk to their healthcare providers about annual colorectal cancer screening using the InSure(R) FIT(TM) take-home test, and in turn, to challenge friends and family members to "have the guts" to get screened, too. A newly created Challenge website, http://www.DoYouHaveTheGuts.com, offers tools to learn about FIT testing and the urgency of colorectal cancer screening, as well as a forum to share individual experiences with screening. Challenge participants can also send an attention-grabbing "Happy, Healthy Colon" e-card to loved ones as a reminder to get screened annually. Medical professionals can access the latest scientific data on InSure FIT, up-to-date colorectal cancer screening guidelines and resources, and patient education materials that can help guide discussions with their patients about colorectal cancer screening.

Medical experts advise that anyone at age 50 or older at average risk should, as one of their screening options, be screened annually with an FOBT or FIT for this disease. Recent ACS guidelines reinforce recommendations for FIT tests, like the InSure FIT, as a screening option for colorectal cancer.

To learn more about the Challenge and InSure FIT, visit http://www.DoYouHaveTheGuts.com.

About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics is the leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services that patients and doctors need to make better healthcare decisions. The company offers the broadest access to diagnostic testing services through its national network of laboratories and patient service centers, and provides interpretive consultation through its extensive medical and scientific staff. Quest Diagnostics is a pioneer in developing innovative new diagnostic tests and advanced healthcare information technology solutions that help improve patient care. Additional company information is available at: http://www.questdiagnostics.com.

The statements in this press release that are not historical facts or information may be forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and outcomes to be materially different. Certain of these risks and uncertainties may include, but are not limited to, competitive environment, changes in government regulations, changing relationships with customers, payers, suppliers and strategic partners and other factors described in the Quest Diagnostics Incorporated 2007 Form 10-K and subsequent SEC filings.

(1) Solomon D et al. Cervical Cancer Screening Rates in the United States

and Potential Impact of Implementation of Screening Guidelines. CA

Cancer J Clin 2007; 57; 105-111

(2) Ferrini R et al. Screening for prostate cancer in American men.

American College of Preventive Medicine Practice Policy Statement.

(3) Cole SR, Young GP, Esterman A, Cadd A, Morcom J. A randomised trial of

the impact of new faecal haemoglobin test technologies on population

participation in screening for colorectal cancer. J Med Screen

2003;10:117-122.

(4) American Cancer Society - Cancer Facts & Figures 2008.

(5) CDC, 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

(6) http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/statistics/screening_rates.htm


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SOURCE Quest Diagnostics Incorporated
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