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About ColonCancerCheck

ColonCancerCheck is Ontario’s population-based, province-wide, organized screening program designed to raise screening rates and reduce deaths from colorectal cancer.

The ColonCancerCheck program has two arms for colorectal cancer screening: average and increased 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

ColonCancerCheck Screening Recommendations

Screening people at average risk of colorectal cancer

  • ColonCancerCheck recommends screening with a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) every two years for asymptomatic people ages 50 to 74 without a family history of colorectal cancer.
  • Abnormal FOBT results should be followed up with a colonoscopy within eight weeks.
  • People ages 50 to 74 without a family history of colorectal cancer who choose to be screened with flexible sigmoidoscopy should be screened every 10 years.
  • Due to insufficient evidence, the ColonCancerCheck program recommends against screening for colorectal cancer using metabolomic (blood or urine) tests, DNA (blood or stool) tests, computed tomography colonography, capsule colonoscopy and double contrast barium enema.

Screening people at increased risk of colorectal cancer

  • ColonCancerCheck recommends that asymptomatic people get screened with colonoscopy if they have a family history of colorectal cancer that includes one or more first-degree relatives with the disease. Screening should begin at 50 years of age, or 10 years earlier than the age their relative was diagnosed, whichever occurs first

Organized screening programs, such as ColonCancerCheck, provide important quality benefits:

  • invite individuals to participate in screening
  • remind participants when it is time for their next screening test
  • notify participants of screening results
  • track participants throughout the screening process
  • evaluate program quality and performance

ColonCancerCheck FOBT kits are available from family physicians and nurse practitioners. Those without a family physician or nurse practitioner can get a kit by contacting Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-828-9213.

For more information, visit

Last modified: Wed, Nov 16, 2016
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