A new initiative by the Canadian Cancer Society aims to make Prince Edward Island residents more aware of colorectal cancer, the third most prevalent cancer on the Canadian island. Treatment for colorectal cancer can be treated effectively; however, the treatment process is often delayed because individuals do not actively pursue regular screening. Annual screening for colorectal cancer is recommended for people between the ages of 50-74, but as the Canadian Cancer Society rightly pointed out, most people assume colonoscopies are the earliest method of detection, but in fact, home tests, specifically Fecal Occult Blood Tests, provide accurate detection. According to CBC News, screening on PEI nearly doubled over the course of a year, from 2,200 to 4000. It is suspected that home tests, now offered by Health PEI, are in large part responsible for the increase in screenings because of the ease, especially compared to colonoscopies, with which a home test can be administered.
Home stool test kits actually provide screening for wide range of health issues, from polyps and hemorrhoids to Crohn’s Disease and bleeding ulcers. According to the FDA, there are a few methods by which one can collect samples for the Fecal Occult Blood test and the results can be either be sent to a lab or tested at home. If the directions are strictly followed, the results of the home test are as accurate as those of a lab.
For more information on PEI and the Canadian Cancer Society, read this article by CBC news.
For more information on the Food and Drug Administrations Fecal Occult Blood test recommendations, click here.