Health Care Professionals


Screening and Research


How the Program Works

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, in collaboration with Cancer Care Ontario, has launched a province-wide colorectal cancer screening program, ColonCancerCheck, aimed at reducing deaths from colorectal cancer by increasing early detection.

ColonCancerCheck provides funding to screen :

  1. All average risk adults 50 years and older for colorectal cancer using the Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) every two years.
  2. Those at increased risk (i.e. with a first degree family member with colorectal cancer) using colonoscopy beginning at age 50, or 10 years earlier than the relative’s age of diagnosis, whichever comes first.

Risk assessment is the first step in determining how an individual will move through the program. For unattached individuals (those without a primary care provider), they may obtain ColonCancerCheck information from a pharmacist or Telehealth Ontario. For those at average risk, an FOBT kit will be dispensed by a pharmacist or ordered through Telehealth Ontario. If the unattached individual is at increased risk for colorectal cancer, he or she will be directed to ColonCancerCheck and will be assigned to a primary care provider who has been identified as willing to accept unattached participants from the program for follow-up care. If you are a primary care provider who is willing to accept unattached participants for follow-up care, please visit Cancer Care Ontario.

Clinical Tools to Help You Screen

Clinical tools were developed by the Centre for Effective Practice in collaboration with the Ontario College of Family Physicians and other partners, including the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and the Nurse Practitioners Association of Ontario, to support healthcare providers in the rollout of ColonCancerCheck. The tools consist of two documents :

You can view the CEP tools at the following links :

Screening Standards and Guidelines

A key component of ColonCancerCheck

Is the development of new evidence-based standards for both colonoscopy and FOBT, as well as the adoption of guidelines for colonoscopy surveillance.


Colonoscopy and FOBT standards were developed through Cancer Care Ontario's Program in Evidence-Based Care (PEBC) by an expert panel consisting of gastroenterologists, surgeons, physicians and scientists. The comprehensiveness of these standards makes them the first of their kind in Canada. Their development and adoption will ensure consistent high quality delivery of ColonCancerCheck across the province. These standards will be published in prominent peer-reviewed journals.


ColonCancerCheck will be adopting the guidelines for colonoscopy surveillance intervals outlined in "Guidelines for Colonoscopy Surveillance After Polypectomy: A Consensus Update by the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer and the American Cancer Society," published in Gastroenterology (2006)


Read the current research on colorectal cancer, colorectal cancer screening and ColonCancerCheck :


To view Portable Document Format PDF files, you will need to have Adobe Acrobat® Reader installed on your computer. You can download this free software from the Adobe website.

For More Information

For more information about ColonCancerCheck, call ServiceOntario INFOline at 1-866-410-5853.
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.
TTY 1-800-387-5559.
Email : or
Visit : Cancer Care Ontario