Yukoners, ages 50-74 are encouraged to get screened for colon cancer.
Get screened today. Find it early. Prevent it. Treat it.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of Yukon cancer deaths after lung cancer. The risk of getting colorectal cancer increases with age, with over 90% of new cases diagnosed in people 50 years of age and over. There is strong scientific evidence that colon cancer can be prevented through regular screening and early detection. Having regular colon cancer screening every two years, can prevent the development of colon cancer and detect colorectal cancer at its early stages when treatment is easier and more successful. The Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) can detect the early warning signs of colon cancer and save your life.
Since January 2017, over 5300 Yukoners have chosen to get screened.
GET THE FIT – this take home test requires no preparation and you only need to do one sample. Follow the instructions included in your kit then bring your completed sample along with your requisition within 2-3 days (sooner the better) to any of the health centres in the communities; Dawson or Watson Community Hospital; or to Whitehorse General Hospital lab. Whitehorse General Hospital lab will analyze your sample and send your results to your primary health care provider. There are many reasons for a positive FIT test result, cancer or pre-cancerous signs are just one of them. If your results are normal you will receive a letter from the program to re-invite you to screen in two years.
The time to get screened is before you have symptoms. You can feel well and not even know that you have polyps or colon cancer.
|For more information and to get a FIT test please speak with your doctor, primary health care provider or call|
|ColonCheck Yukon at 867-667-5497 or toll free: 1-844-347-9856|
What is colorectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer generally develops from tiny growths call polyps inside the colon or rectum. Polyps start out as small harmless growths on the inner wall of the colon. However, as polyps grow larger, some may turn into cancer. Almost all cases of colorectal cancer begin with the development of benign or non-cancerous polyps.
Who is at risk?
Your risk of getting colon cancer is higher if:
- Someone in your family has had colon polyps or colon cancer;
- You’ve had colon polyps before; or
- You have inflammatory bowel disease (such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
If you have a family history of colon cancer, you may need to get checked before age 50. A colonoscopy may be how you get checked. Talk to your health care provider about your family history and find out which test is right for you.
What are the symptoms?
Many people with colorectal cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. However, when symptoms appear, they will likely vary, depending on the cancer’s size and location in the large intestine. This is why we are recommending regular screening rather than relying on colon cancer symptoms to alert one to the presence of a tumor. The symptoms may include:
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Narrow stools
- Abdominal cramps
- Bloody stools
- Unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite
- Sense of fullness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Gas and bloating
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
How can you prevent colorectal cancer?
A healthy lifestyle and getting screened regularly can help prevent colon cancer. Here’s what you can do to stay colon healthy:
- Eat well – Eat more fruits and vegetable. Make smart food choices by limiting how much red and processed meats, saturated fats and salt you eat.
- Be active – Just 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity can keep your colon healthy. It doesn’t have to be complicated. The more active you are, the lower your risk of cancer is.
- Quit or reduce smoking. Smokers' helpline
- Cut down on alcohol – If you choose to drink, follow these low risk alcohol guidelines. The less alcohol you consume, the lower your risk of cancer is
- Talk to your primary care provider – Your primary care provider is a great source of information and can help you understand what a healthy body weight means for you, help you quit smoking and help you decide on the best screening test for you.
- Get checked. Make colon cancer screening part of your regular health routine. It could save your life.
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
On Friday March 1st, 2019, we encourage all Yukoners to participate to Dress In BLUE Day by wearing blue to show support to those touched by colorectal cancer. If you want to learn more about this special day visit Dress In BLUE Day website.
Take a walk through a giant colon with Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley
The Government of Yukon brought the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada’s Giant Colon Tour to Whitehorse to promote Colorectal Cancer Awareness on March 4th and 5th, 2017. Over 2400 people visited the interactive exhibit.
Phone: (867) 667-5497
Toll Free (Yukon, Nunavut and NWT); 1-844-347-9856