Exact Sciences lab 1, State Journal photo (copy) (copy)

Exact Sciences is expanding its Cologuard processing lab on Badger Road, shown here, and is building a second lab just off Schroeder Road to handle growing use of the test for colorectal cancer. The Madison company passed the 1 million mark in the number of people who have used the home test kit.

Exact Sciences Corp. has topped the 1 million mark -- more than 1 million patients have been screened for colorectal cancer using the Madison company's Cologuard home test kit.

"Cologuard was designed to help more people get screened and it is doing just that," Exact chairman and CEO Kevin Conroy said.

The DNA-based stool test was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August 2014. More than 135,000 Americans were diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2017 and more than 50,000 died from the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute. 

Exact also is one of more than half a dozen companies sponsoring the One Million Strong campaign launched by the national advocacy group Fight Colorectal Cancer, highlighting the more than one million survivors of the disease and their loved ones. Conroy was among several people who rang the opening bell for the Nasdaq Stock Market on Wednesday to launch the campaign.

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Judy Newman is a business reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.