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Why is Screening Important?

Colon cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer, affecting 1 in 6 people in British Columbia. In its early stages, there are often no symptoms- which is why screening is so important. Screening can detect the early warning signs of colon cancer and save your life.

Colon cancer screening saves lives in 2 important ways:

  • Screening can prevent colon cancer by finding and removing polyps before they turn into cancer. Polyps are small growths that can develop in the colon or rectum, often with no symptoms in early stages of growth.
  • Screening can find cancers early. Early detection means more treatment options and better outcomes.
Screening is only recommended for people who are not experiencing symptoms that may indicate colon cancer.

Symptoms can include blood in your stool, abdominal pain, change in bowel habits, or weight loss. If you are experiencing these symptoms, talk to your doctor about a referral for diagnostic testing to determine the cause of these symptoms.

There are two screening tests for colon cancerthe fecal immunochemical test (FIT) and colonoscopy. If you are a man or woman between the ages of 50 and 74, talk to your family doctor or primary health care provider about which test is right for you.

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