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Benefits and Limitations

Fecal immunochemical tests now available in labs throughout the province. Learn more here.

Screening finds many non-cancerous polyps and colon cancers, but no screening test is perfect. Regular screening offers the best chance of detecting the early signs of cancer.

Screening may lead to additional tests to determine the reason for an abnormal screening result. This does not mean a cancer was found. The majority of people called back for additional tests will not have cancer.

Certain cancers may never cause any symptoms or affect life expectancy or quality of life. However, research shows that most colon cancers are harmful and that colon cancer should be detected and treated as early as possible.

A colonoscopy may be recommended for high-risk patients or after an abnormal FIT result for an average-risk patient. There can be risks with this procedure such as bleeding and bowel perforation, and in rare cases, death.

While waiting for your colonoscopy, please speak with your health care provider if you are experiencing these symptoms at any time:

  • Blood in your stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Unexplained weight loss

For more information about colon screening, please see this brochure (also available in Punjabi, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese).



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