Majority of Canadians surveyed not checking for colon cancer

Largest survey of its kind finds many Canadians understand they need to get checked for colon cancer, but are not taking action

TORONTO – A new national survey reveals that while almost all Canadians understand the importance of getting checked for colon cancer, most have not had a screening test and are confused about how and when it should happen. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer for both men and women – in 2009 an estimated 22,000 Canadians were diagnosed with it and 9,000 died. It is also one of the most highly treatable cancers if caught early.

“Checking regularly for colon cancer – also known as screening – is our best line of defence for catching this highly treatable cancer early. The survey shows almost all Canadians understand that this is the case – this is good news,” says Dr. Heather Bryant, Vice-President, Cancer Control, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

“While the number of Canadians getting screened for colon cancer is on the rise, the survey demonstrates the majority of Canadians at risk are still not actually getting checked for colon cancer. It’s very important to understand that screening means having a test when a person feels perfectly well and is not experiencing symptoms.”