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Letters about Colorectal Cancer Screening

Invitation Letters to Eligible Ontarians 50 to 74 Years of Age

Cancer Care Ontario sends invitation letters to men and women between the ages of 50 and 74 who have never previously been screened or are due for screening to invite them to visit their healthcare provider to discuss colorectal cancer screening.

Invitation letters are not sent to individuals who:

  • have had recent colorectal cancer screening activity (fecal occult blood test or flexible sigmoidoscopy)
  • have had a colonoscopy within the past 10 years
  • have received other colorectal screening letters within the last two years
  • have been previously diagnosed with colorectal cancer
  • have withdrawn from receiving screening letters
  • do not have a valid mailing address registered with us

Notification of Result

After fecal occult blood tests (FOBTs) are analyzed, participating labs inform healthcare providers of their patients’ test results. Labs also inform Cancer Care Ontario about the results of all program-branded FOBT kits. We notify participants of their test results in the following ways:

Normal Results

We notify all participants (with or without healthcare providers) about normal FOBT results by mail. The letter informs participants that their result is normal and advises them to get screened again in two years, unless there is a change in their family history of colorectal cancer or they notice possible symptoms of colorectal cancer (in both cases they are advised to see a healthcare provider).

Abnormal Result

Participants with a healthcare provider — Healthcare providers inform their patients of their abnormal result and refer them for colonoscopy. We also send letters to these participants informing them that their result is abnormal and advising them to see their healthcare provider for follow-up if they have not already done so.

Participants without a healthcare provider — We contact these participants by mail and telephone to ensure timely follow-up care through referral to a healthcare provider, who will discuss referral for colonoscopy.

Retest Required

We notify all participants if the laboratory rejected their FOBT kit or the result could not be read; in both cases, a retest is needed. Participants are advised to contact their healthcare provider to get another kit. Participants without a healthcare provider are advised to contact Telehealth Ontario to get another kit.


Two years after a normal test, we send recall letters to eligible average risk participants to re-screen with the FOBT.


We will also send reminder letters to participants who haven’t responded after receiving one of the following letters:

  • invitation to screen
  • recall to re-screen after two years
  • abnormal result
  • result that could not be read
  • rejected result
Last modified: Mon, May 02, 2016
cancer care ontario | action cancer ontario   620 University Avenue Toronto Ontario, Canada M5G 2L7   Phone: 416.971.9800 Fax: 416.971.6888

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