Colorectal cancer screening in Canada: Program performance results report 2009 to 2011 (2013)

Read this 2013 report for an evaluation of how organized colorectal cancer screening programs in Canada performed from 2009 to 2011

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in Canada. In 2013, about 23,800 Canadians were diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 9,200 of them died because of it. People who are 50 years or older make up the 94% who are newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

This report presents early results of key indicators and targets for five provinces (British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia) that provided first-round data from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2011. This report provides further information on program planning and development for the provinces and territories that were unable to provide first-round data.

The report discusses that fecal tests are essential in the colorectal cancer screening process. Overall, organized screening for this cancer involves four steps:

  1. Identifying and inviting people – the target population
  2. Providing then with a screening test
  3. Following up on any detected abnormalities
  4. Recalling after a normal or non-malignant screening outcome

Using fecal tests for regular screening helps detect colorectal cancer early, treat it more successfully, and reduce the number of related deaths. Screening can also lower the rate of colorectal cancer by finding precancerous polyps and removing them before they become cancerous.

People who don’t show any signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer are screened. Therefore, an evaluation of the screening programs must consider both the benefits and the drawbacks for people who will be screened.

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