McGuinty Government Launches Campaign to Encourage Ontarians To Get Screened for Colorectal Cancer

    Home Screening Kit Available in April

    TORONTO, March 14 /CNW/ - When caught early through regular screening,
there is a 90 per cent chance colorectal cancer can be cured.
    That's the message behind a new public awareness campaign called
ColonCancerCheck that will educate Ontarians about the importance of early
screening and detection of colorectal cancer.
    Starting in April, Ontarians age 50 and over will be able to get a
take-home colorectal cancer screening kit, called a Fecal Occult Blood Test
(FOBT), from their health care provider. People who have an increased risk of
colorectal cancer because of a family history of the disease and those who
have a positive home-screening test will receive a colonoscopy.
    The ColonCancerCheck public awareness campaign consists of:
      -  A cutting edge television advertising campaign featuring computer
         generated see-through characters in animation, to be broadcast in 22
         languages across the province

      -  FOBT kits available to all Ontarians from their health care provider

      -, a new website with information on colorectal
         cancer, risk factors and prevention

      -  Education for health care providers on the importance of screening
         their patients

    Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in
Ontario. Today, just one in five Ontarians age 50 and over are screened.


    "This is a very serious issue," said George Smitherman, Deputy Premier
and Ontario's Health and Long-Term Care Minister Ministry of Health and
Long-Term Care ( "Colorectal cancer is the
second deadliest form of cancer and knowing about the importance of screening
early and regularly can make the difference between life and death."
    "Ontario has one of the highest rates of colorectal cancer in the world,
but it doesn't need to be that way," says Terry Sullivan, President and CEO,
Cancer Care Ontario Cancer Care Ontario (
"By making colorectal screening part of people's health care routine, many
more Ontarians will not have to suffer through advanced colorectal cancer."


    -  On average, about 3,250 Ontarians die from colorectal cancer each year
       and about 7,800 are newly diagnosed with the disease each year.

    -  Regular screening has been shown to decrease the number of people who
       die from colorectal cancer by at least 16 per cent.

    -  The ColonCancerCheck program is a five year $193.5 million program
       that was launched in January 2007.

    -  The take-home colorectal cancer screening kit is called the Fecal
       Occult Blood Test. It detects trace amounts of blood in the stool.

    -  Ontarians can obtain a take-home colorectal cancer screening kit from
       their health care provider or by contacting the Ministry of Health and
       Long-Term Care's INFOline.


    People can also visit Colon Cancer Check (
or call 1-866-410-5853 for information on how they can be screened or where to
get kits.

                                                      Disponible en français

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Laurel Ostfield, Minister's Office, (416)
212-4048; David Jensen, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416) 314-6197

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