Ontario has one of the highest rates of colorectal cancer in the world and after lung caner it's the second most common cause of cancer deaths. In Ontario, an estimated 8,100 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer and approximately 3,300 people died from the disease in 2009. When caught early through regular screening, colorectal cancer is 90 per cent curable. Screening can be the difference between life and death.
The ColonCancerCheck program is Canada’s first province-wide screening program designed to raise screening rates and reduce deaths from colorectal cancer. The program launched in 2008 by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Cancer Care Ontario.
As a result, screening rates for colorectal cancer using the fecal occult blood test (FOBT) doubled from 14.8 per cent in 2003–2004 to 29.7 per cent in 2007–2008. (Source: ColonCancerCheck 2008 Program Report)
ColonCancerCheck recommends that all Ontarians aged 50 and over be screened. For those at average risk, a simple at home test – the fecal occult blood test (FOBT) – once every two years is recommended.
- How to get an FOBT kit: If you are 50 years of age and over and at average risk for colorectal cancer, you can get an FOBT from your family doctor for free. If you don't have a health care provider or require more information, please call INFOline at 1-866-410-5853.
Those who have an increased risk due to family history (one or more first-degree relatives; parent, sibling or child) should be referred for a colonoscopy starting either at age 50, or 10 years earlier than the relative’s age of diagnosis, whichever comes first.
Information and resources
On the ColonCancerCheck website family healthcare providers will find relevant information, resources and program details needed to promote and engage patients in colorectal cancer screening.
To find out more about the fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and to get additional information and resources on colon cancer prevention and screening visit the ColonCancerCheck website.
ColonCancerCheck 2008 program report
The inaugural ColonCancerCheck 2008 Program Report highlights the development of ColonCancerCheck and the progress made on key program indicators.
Download the ColonCancerCheck 2008 Program Report.