Colon cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop in the colon or rectum. It is the second most common cause of death from cancer in men and the third leading cause of death from cancer in women. However, the good news is that colon cancer is highly treatable when detected early through regular colon cancer screening.
In British Columbia, the recommended colon cancer screening method is called a fecal immunochemical test (FIT). This non-invasive test detects hidden blood in the stool, which may be an early sign of colon cancer or pre-cancerous polyps. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends that individuals aged 50 to 74 who are at average risk undergo FIT screening every two years.
However, certain factors may warrant earlier or more frequent screenings, such as a family history of colon cancer or certain hereditary conditions. Book an appointment with CanScreenBC or consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate screening plan based on individual risk factors.
To take charge of your health and reduce the risk of colon cancer, it's essential to prioritize screening. The FIT kit is a simple and convenient way to collect a stool sample for testing. Additionally, adopting a healthy lifestyle can help lower your risk of colon cancer. Regular exercise, a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fiber, limited alcohol consumption, and avoiding tobacco products all contribute to maintaining a healthy colon.