Colon and rectal cancer do not have any signs or symptoms in the early stages.
Colon cancer, also known as colorectal or bowel cancer, originates from small growths (polyps) in the colon or rectum. You can have these growths for several years without having symptoms. Most polyps do not become cancerous. Some polyps can turn into cancer if they are not removed.
The FOBT kit (also known as the home screening test) is the best way to prevent colon and rectal cancer.
The FOBT kit (also known as the home screening test) is done in the privacy of your own bathroom.
The FOBT can see what you cannot see - hidden blood in the stool. The FOBT can help find:
To do the FOBT, collect stool (poop) samples 3 days in a row. If you do not have daily bowel movements (poops), complete the test within 7 days.
A kit will be sent in the mail once you become eligible (age 50) for colon and rectal cancer screening.
If you received a kit and did not complete it or it has expired, you can request an FOBT kit by:
If you have an abnormal FOBT result:
The FOBT (also known as the home screening test) kit is done in the privacy of your own bathroom. To do the FOBT, collect stool (poop) samples 3 days in a row. If you do not have daily bowel movements (poops), complete the test within 7 days.
Most people age 50-74 are at average risk for colon or rectal cancer and should do an FOBT (home screening test) every 2 years.
People of any age at increased risk for colon or rectal cancer may require additional testing. Speak with your healthcare provider to better understand your personal risk and which screening test is best for you.
Factors that impact your risk of colon or rectal cancer include a:
If you are unsure of your eligibility for ColonCheck, speak with your healthcare provider or contact ColonCheck.
Limit your vitamin C intake to less than 250 mg per day for 3 days before, and during the time you do the test. Continue to eat your usual diet except for vitamin C, as large amounts of vitamin C may hide blood that is in the stool. Click here (pdf) to read a complete list of foods that contain vitamin C.
Instructions (PDF) to complete the FOBT kit are available in these languages:
The colon is part of your body’s digestive system (English | French (JPG)). The colon moves waste material, or things your body does not need, from the small intestine to the rectum. Together the colon and the rectum make up the large intestine (bowel).
The small intestine absorbs most of the nutrients from what you eat and then passes on the leftover waste to the colon. The colon absorbs water from the waste. What is left is called stool (feces or poop). When you have a bowel movement, the stool leaves the rectum through the anus.
It important to weigh the benefits and potential harms to make an informed decision about colorectal cancer screening. No screening test is perfect.
An abnormal result does not necessarily mean you have cancer. There are many possible reasons for blood in your stool. More testing will need to be done to see where the blood is coming from. A colonoscopy English | French (pdf) is usually recommended if you have an abnormal home screening test result. Repeating a home screening test after a positive result is not recommended. A positive result needs further investigation, regardless of the reason.
When a person has a positive FOBT result:
A colonoscopy allows the doctor to examine the inside of your colon (bowel) and rectum. A long flexible tube ( colonoscope) with a small camera is passed into your rectum and colon. On a video monitor, the doctor looks for any abnormal areas on the lining of your colon. There can be risks with this procedure. Rarely, some people may have bleeding or other complications such as a performation (tear) in the colon that may require a hospital stay.
Contact your healthcare provider iif you experience any signs or symptoms of colon cancer such as:
To learn more about screening for cancers other than breast, cervical, or colorectal, click here.
ColonCheck recommends most people age 50-74 do a home screening test every 2 years.
Request an FOBT home screening kit from ColonCheck in one of three ways:
If you choose to complete the form below, be sure the information matches your Manitoba Health Card (e.g. full name, not short version) content.