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 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 at-home test 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.
“This screening test 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.
If you’re due or overdue for screening, ask your health-care provider for an at-home screening kit. People without a healthcare provider can contact Telehealth Ontario’s colon cancer screening line at 1.866.828.9213 or visit the Mobile Cancer Screening Coach.