Sandy's Colonoscopy Experience: A Video Diary

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It is estimated that in Ontario 10-12 per cent of the population may be considered at increased risk for colorectal cancer. Increased risk includes individuals who have a family history of one or more first-degree relatives (parent, sibling or child) with a diagnosis of colorectal cancer. For these individuals, screening for colon cancer by colonoscopy is advised.

In the South West region, over 20% of patients who are referred by their primary care provider for a colonoscopy are not following through. While there may be many contributing factors, fear of colonoscopy is one factor preventing patients from undergoing the screening procedure.

The South West Regional Cancer Program has created a video to showcase what happens during the colonoscopy appointment. Filmed in a video blog format, the viewer accompanies the patient, Sandy Preston, as she arrives at the hospital for her colonoscopy through to her departure a couple hours later. The video is intended to help dispel myths about the colonoscopy procedure and ultimately, increase screening rates in the region.

YouTube link:

“We know that screening for colorectal cancer saves lives,” says Dr. Brian Yan, regional endoscopy lead for the South West Regional Cancer Program. “Even though there is a 90% chance it can be cured if detected early, screening rates in Ontario are low.”

All Ontarians aged 50 and over should be screened for colorectal cancer. For those at average risk, a simple at home test – the Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) – once every two years is recommended.

Click here to learn more about colorectal screening and the ColonCancerCheck program in Ontario.