The Zoomer Report: Colorectal Screening

Have you been screened for colorectal cancer? A survey commissioned by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, finds less than half of Canadians in the targeted age group of 50-plus are getting tested. And that’s despite a high level of awareness about the benefits of routine screening.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer. And while 95 per cent of respondents agreed that detecting it early greatly improves chances of survival, only 44 per cent said they were up to date with screening.

National guidelines suggest people 50 to 74 should get a stool test at least every two years. The tests are performed at home, and involve sending a tiny sample in a special kit to a laboratory, which checks for microscopic signs of blood in the stool. That can indicate one or more malignancy-prone polyps inside the colon, or large bowel.

The survey found that 60 per cent of respondents did not realize they should be routinely screened before the appearance of any symptoms, while just 29 per cent recalled discussing testing with their doctor. Remember it’s your responsibility as well as your doctor’s and this is a non-invasive test that you can do in the privacy of your own home.

Photo © Ilze Lucero


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About The Zoomer Report

Libby ZnaimerLibby Znaimer, a prominent Canadian journalist specializing in business, politics, and lifestyle issues, is producer and host of The Zoomer Report, a special feature on topics of interest to baby boomers and the 50+. It covers everything from health and wealth to leisure and volunteerism, from the special vantage point of the generation that has changed society in its wake.

Ms. Znaimer is also Vice-President of News and Information for Classical 96.3FM and AM740. Her first book, “In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge” – was published in October 2007 by Key Porter.

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