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News Release

Durham Region Health Department encourages regular cancer screenings as a part of Colon Cancer Awareness Month

WHITBY, ON March 10, 2017 - March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and Durham Region Health Department is encouraging all residents to learn about colon cancer risks and what you can do to prevent them.

“Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in Canada and is the second leading cause of cancer death,” explains Brian Dallaway, a public health nurse with the Health Department. “When caught early through regular screening, there is a 90 per cent chance that colorectal cancer can be cured.”

Men and women over the age of 50 can get checked every two years with a fecal occult blood test (FOBT). The FOBT is a free test that you can do at home. This test looks for blood in the stool which may be a sign of colon cancer. You can get an FOBT kit from your health care provider, or by calling the Telehealth Colorectal Screening Program at 1-866-828-9213. While rates of screening are rising, less than half of eligible Durham Region residents are getting checked.  Women, newcomers to Canada and aboriginal populations have the lowest cancer screening rates.

Last year, Cancer Care Ontario launched MyCancerIQ, an innovative online cancer risk assessment tool that determines your risk of developing breast, cervical, colon and lung cancer. My CancerIQ is designed for Ontarians to build a cancer risk profile that highlights individual cancer risks compared to other Ontarians. This tool also provides you with a personalized health action plan so you can immediately begin to reduce your cancer risk. My CancerIQ is available online at  

For more information about cancer screening please visit or call Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729.

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Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:
Glendene Collins - Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999, or

If this information is required in an accessible format, please contact the Accessibility Co-ordinator at 1-800-372-1102 extension 2009.

For more information, please contact Health Department.