Colon Screening Program

The BC Cancer Colon Screening Program, including the two screening tests for colon cancer – the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) and colonoscopy - are key to preventing colon cancer or finding it early.

Colon cancer is the second deadliest cancer and one of the most preventable cancers. If detected at its earliest stage, the chance of survival is over 90 percent. Screening can prevent colon cancer by finding and removing polyps (small growths that can develop in the colon or rectum) before they become cancer. Removal of non-cancerous polyps reduces your chance of colon cancer by more than 90 percent. 

Colon screening tests

Fecal immunochemical test (FIT)

Recommended every two years for people who do not have a personal history of adenomas or a significant family history of colon cancer. 
If you are picking up a stool FIT kit at a VCH Laboratory, please make an appointment with Laboratory Services before visiting a location.

Read more about FIT on the BC Cancer website


Recommended every five years for people with at least one of the following:

  • an immediate family member with colon cancer diagnosed under the age of 60,
  • or two or more first-degree relatives with colon cancer diagnosed at any age,
  • or a personal history of adenomas – a type of non-cancerous tumors.

If you have a personal history of colon cancer, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, you should continue to obtain care through your specialist and family physician. You should not be screened through the Colon Screening Program.

Learn more about colonoscopy and screening on the BC Cancer website

How to access Colon Screening Program


  • If you are a BC man or woman between 50 to 74 with no symptoms, you should get screened for colon cancer every two years.
  • Lives in British Columbia 
  • If you have blood in your stool, abdominal pain, change in bowel habits, or weight loss, talk to your family physician about a referral to see a specialist.


  • Talk to your family physician to determine which screening test is right for you.

  • If you are eligible for screening, your doctor will give you an order form for a free FIT kit or will refer you to a patient coordinator (nurse) for your community for a colonoscopy assessment

  • If you are doing a FIT kit, you can take the order form to a lab location and pick up your FIT kit.

  • Follow the instructions in the kit to collect samples of your stool in the privacy of your own home, and then drop the sample off at a participating lab.

  • If you are being referred for a colonoscopy, a patient coordinator will contact you directly.