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Call the Shots on Colon Cancer

Joanne Bennett RN, BScN

Colon cancer often has no symptoms in its early stages. Even so, you can call the shots on colon cancer.

Did you know that there is a simple take-home screening test that can detect colorectal cancer? The name of the test sums it up very well: Fecal (stool) Occult (hidden) Blood Test (FOBT). In other words, the test looks for hidden blood in your stool. The test is safe, painless, and best of all, can be done at home.

Nine out of every ten people with colorectal cancer can be cured when it is caught early. Those are much better odds than your favourite NHL team has at winning this year’s cup!

Most of the time, a person with colon cancer has no early warning signs, so screening when you feel healthy is your chance to stay one step ahead of the game. If you have colon cancer and do not get tested, you may miss out on the chance for early and more effective treatment. By detecting cancer early, you may have more treatment options, the cancer is less likely to spread and you will have a better chance of surviving.

Once you have reached 50 years of age, your risk of colon cancer rises. That’s why the FOBT is recommended every two years from the age of 50 until you reach 74.

There are a few ways to get a test: talk to your family physician or your pharmacist; or call Telehealth or Cancer Care Ontario.

Call the shots on colon cancer. Get screened.