GRIMSBY — Whether it’s tending to his vegetable garden or teaching young members of his Cadet Corps how to tie knots and build campfires, Gerry Bijsma believes in staying active as part of a healthy lifestyle.
The 73-year-old Grimsby man also believes in cancer screening as a way to stay healthy. That’s why he takes a simple at-home test every two years called the Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) to screen for signs of colorectal cancer.
Men and women between the ages of 50 to 74 with no family history of colon cancer are encouraged to take the FOBT every two years as part of their routine medical care. Individuals with a family history may need to start screening sooner, and should talk to their family doctor about a colonoscopy referral.
“The FOBT is a very easy test to take, and very helpful in terms of prevention,” said Gerry, who works with local youth as Regional Chaplain for the Calvinist Cadet Corps in Niagara.
While colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women in Ontario, it’s highly treatable when caught early. In fact, when caught early, nine out of every 10 people can be cured while in its later stages the outcomes are much worse. Check out this video on how to take this easy, at-home test. More information is also available at www.ontario.ca/coloncancercheck.
If you’re due or overdue for screening, ask your health-care provider for an FOBT kit. People without a healthcare provider can get an FOBT kit by contacting Telehealth Ontario at 1.866.828.9213. Niagara residents without a healthcare provider can also visit the Mobile Cancer Screening Coach.