The Regional Municipality of Durham

News Release

Screening for colon cancer is encouraged for men and women 50 and over

WHITBY, ON March 11, 2016

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and Durham Region Health Department is encouraging residents to learn about the risks for colon cancer and what can be done to help minimize these risks.

"Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the country 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 50 and over should get checked every two years with a fecal occult blood test (FOBT). The FOBT is a free test that can be done at home. The test looks for blood in the stool which may be a sign of colon cancer. Residents can get a FOBT kit from a health care provider, or by calling Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-828-9213.

Cancer Care Ontario recently launched, an innovative online cancer risk assessment tool that determines a person’s risk of developing colon, breast, cervical, kidney, skin and lung cancers. My CancerIQ is designed to help Ontarians build a cancer risk profile that highlights personal cancer risks, relative to other Ontario residents of the same age and sex.

"As the risk for developing cancer increases with age, this resource is helpful as it can provide a personalized health action plan, allowing you to take immediate action to help reduce your risk of cancer." 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.

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For more information, please contact Health Department.