There are two screening tests the BC Cancer Agency recommends for women and men 50 years of age and older to prevent colon cancer:
Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) – every 2 years if you do not have a significant family history of colon cancer or a personal history of adenomas (non-cancerous tumours).
Colonoscopy – every 5 years if you are at a higher than average risk of colon cancer (have a family history of colon cancer or personal history of adenomas).
Talk to your healthcare provider about which test is right for you.
FIT detects blood in your stool (poop) which can be a sign of pre-cancer. In BC you can get an order form for a free FIT test kit from your doctor. You pick up the kit from a laboratory (lab) and do the test yourself at home by following the instructions in your kit.
is a medical procedure done in a clinic or hospital that uses a colonoscope (thin tube-like instrument with a tiny camera) to look inside the rectum and colon for polyps and cancer. Tissue samples can be collected and abnormal growths removed during a colonoscopy.
There are some exceptions - if you are experiencing symptoms which may indicate cancer such as blood in your stool, abdominal pain, change in bowel habits, or weight loss, talk to your healthcare provider about other testing options.