March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: Treat yourself – Get screened!

The Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant (HNHB) Regional Cancer Program is celebrating Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month by reminding everyone to get screened using a free FIT (Fecal Immunochemical Test). March is a great time to treat yourself to some peace of mind by getting up to date with colorectal cancer screening.

Cancer screening services have been stabilized in Ontario post-pandemic. Still, approximately 39% of our population is overdue for FIT across the HNHB Region. Find out more about your cancer risk by visiting www.mycancerIQ.ca.

The FIT is a free, simple, easy test completed in the privacy of your own home. This video shows you just how easy it is CLICK HERE.

Benefits of colorectal cancer screening

  • Colorectal cancer screening helps find cancer before you have symptoms.
  • Early detection may mean less treatment and less time spent recovering. It increases the chance of finding cancer early when it is easier to treat.
  • When colorectal cancer is caught early, 9 out of 10 people can be cured.
  • If you don’t get screened, you may miss the chance for early and more effective treatment.

How to get screened

There are two screening tests used for colorectal cancer:

  • People ages 50-74, who do not have a family history of colorectal cancer, are recommended to have a FIT every 2 years.
  • For those with a family history of colorectal cancer, that includes 1 or more first-degree relatives (parent, sibling or child) with the disease, a colonoscopy is recommended 10 years prior to the age when the family member was diagnosed.

If you have questions about whether this test is right for you, speak to your primary care provider.

Where to get screened

The FIT is an at-home screening test. To get your free FIT:

  • Talk with your Primary Care Provider.
  • Don’t have a Primary Care Provider? Call Health811 at 811 (TTY: 1.866.797.0007) to order one.
  • People in the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Region can contact the Mobile Cancer Screening Coach. To find out where the Mobile Coach will be CLICK HERE.

Once a FIT has been ordered, LifeLabs will mail it to your Ontario mailing address.

Social Media messages

  • Treat yourself to some peace of mind by getting up to date with colon cancer screening #CCAM2024 #Coloncancer #FITkit #Getbackontrack
  • Talk to your health provider this March about how to get screened for colon cancer. #Getcheckedforcoloncancer #CCAM2024 #Getbackontrac
  • To learn more about how to do a FIT kit to screen for colon cancer, check out this video!  https://youtube.com/shorts/OxPG3TM-w5Q?si=XWZAo8RsuU_DdgUj #Getcheckedforcoloncancer #CCM2024 #Pooptest101