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Colon Cancer Screening

What Is Colon Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is the third-most diagnosed type of cancer in Canada. There are a number of risk factors. It can be caused by family history or genes. Your lifestyle can also increase your risk.

Average risk

  • People ages 50 to 74 with no first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer

  • No personal history of pre-cancerous colorectal polyps requiring surveillance or inflammatory bowel disease (i.e., Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)

Increased risk

  • People with a family history of colorectal cancer that includes one or more first-degree relatives who have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, but do not meet the criteria for colorectal cancer hereditary syndromes

Why you should screen

When colorectal cancer is caught early:

  • most people (90%) recover fully after treatment

  • your cancer is less likely to spread

  • you may have more options to treat your cancer


You may know of friends or family who have had colonoscopies. Basically, you take a strong laxative the day before the procedure to totally clean out your bowel. You then go into the hospital for the procedure (but you are in and out the same day). They give you medications to doze you off, so you do not remember or feel anything, and then they go up inside your bottom end with a scope (which is basically a small video camera on the end of thin a flexible hose). From there, the doctor can directly see inside your colon wall and can see if there are any cancers or polyps. If they see a polyp, they can remove it right then and there before it ever turns into a cancer.

The colonoscopy is a better test in that the doctor can actually directly see inside your colon. It is much more accurate. However, it is much more invasive and it does carry a very tiny risk of complication of popping through the bowel wall and requiring an operation to fix it (about 1 in 1000 to 1 in 10,000).

To book a colonoscopy, call our office to ask for a referral. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:   Check out the Colorectal cancer screening of Ontario

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