British Columbia is launching a co-ordinated province-wide colorectal cancer screening program to assist in early detection of the disease and help save lives, Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid announced today.
The province-wide colorectal program will launch on April 1, 2013, with the introduction of the publicly-funded fecal immunochemical test (FIT), which is easier for patients to complete at home and requires no changes to medication or diet. The complete provincial colorectal screening program will be phased in, with all health authorities on board over the spring and summer of 2013.
The new program will build on the experiences of the pilot Colon Check colorectal cancer screening program, which has been running in a number of B.C. communities since 2009.
It will be primary-care-based, with general practitioners referring patients between the ages of 50 and 74 without symptoms for a screening test once every two years. Patients with a significant family history of colorectal cancer will be referred to their regional health authority for a screening colonoscopy.
For more information go to http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2009-2013/2012HLTH0130-001698.htm