Colorectal Cancer Screening Program
Regular screening to detect pre-cancerous polyps (growths) before they become cancer or early stage cancer cells can improve your chance for a complete recovery.
How do I get screened for colorectal cancer?
Screening may be done by a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) or by colonoscopy. If you are 50-74 years of age, are of average risk for colorectal cancer, and have a valid PEI Health Card, you are invited to get screened using FIT through the PEI Colorectal Cancer Screening Program.
What is the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)?
FIT is a screening test for colon cancer. It can detect blood in your stool which can be a sign of pre-cancer. FIT can be done in the comfort of your own home by following the instructions provided in the kit. There is no preparation required for the test. If blood is found, then further consult with a doctor or nurse practitioner will determine what follow-up procedures (such as a colonoscopy) are needed.
Should I have a FIT?
Screening increases the chance of detecting colorectal cancer early, when it is most curable, resulting in higher survival rates and less treatment and surgery. FIT is recommended every two years for those of average risk who are 50-74 years of age.
You are of average risk for colorectal cancer if you:
- have no family history of colorectal cancer (parent or sibling); or
- are not experiencing symptoms such as:
- change in bowel movements;
- visible blood in your stool; or
- excessive vomiting.
You may be of increased risk for colorectal cancer and should consult a health professional if you:
- have a family history of colorectal cancer;
- have a personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps; or
- are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- change in bowel movements;
- blood (bright red or dark) in your stool;
- long-standing diarrhea or constipation;
- weight loss or fatigue; or
- extreme vomiting.
How do I get a FIT kit?
Alternatively, if you are eligible for the Colorectal Cancer Screening Program, you can order a FIT kit by:
- completing the FIT Home Screening Test Request Form, [PDF | 514 KB]
- calling 1-888-561-2233 to request a FIT kit be mailed to your home; or
- picking up a FIT Kit at a health centre.
Once I have the FIT kit, what do I need to do?
These are the steps to take:
- Collect samples of your stool by carefully following the easy FIT instructions.
- Deliver your FIT kit to any health centre or hospital laboratory.
- Your test results will be mailed to you and your family doctor.
- You will receive follow-up instructions if your FIT result is abnormal.
What other information or resources are available?
- Canadian Partnership Against Cancer: Colonversation – Five Feet of Fabulous Video
- Canadian Cancer Society
- Colon Cancer Canada
How do I contact the Colorectal Cancer Screening Program?
To request a FIT kit:
Telephone: (902) 368-5901
Fax: (902) 368-6936