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.