Feb 22, 2016

By Bob Komsic

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If you have no symptoms or family history of colorectal cancer then colonoscopy should be used for routine screening.
That’s among the new guidelines from the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.
Hospital Patient in Bed
It’s strongly recommending low-risk patients aged 50 to74 be screened using fecal occult blood tests every two years or sigmoidoscopy every ten.
Sigmoidoscopy involves inserting a flexible scope to view the lower part of the colon and rectum rather than the entire tract as is done with colonoscopy.
The task force also advises against screening asymptomatic patients, age 75-plus because of their reduced life expectancy and lack of research showing benefit or potential harm from the tests.
The guidelines do not apply to high-risk patients who have symptoms or a family history of colorectal cancer.
It’s the second most common cause of death from cancer among men and third leading cause of cancer deaths in women.
Last year, an estimated 25,000 Canadians were diagnosed with the disease and approximately 9,300 died from it.
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