It is surprising and avoidable. A report from the Canadian cancer Society finds that Almost half of the colorectal cancers in Canada are discovered at late stages even though most provinces have screening programs that can catch it in early. The report by the Canadian Cancer Society says about 29 per cent of colorectal cancers are diagnosed at stage 3, and 20 per cent are diagnosed at stage 4. At stage 3 the tumour is large and has spread to nearby tissues, at stage 4 it has metastasized to distant parts of the body and is considered incurable.At Stage 1, the 5 year survival rate is 90 percent, at stage 4 it is less than 15 per cent.
Doctors agree early detection is key to boosting survival rates, but relatively few people are taking advantage of organized screening programs, including an at-home stool test that can detect pre-cancerous signs. According to this research, less than 60% of people aged 50-74 do the test, which is recommended every two years for people who are at average risk. Those at high risk, including people with a family history or those who have had polyps may need to be tested more often, at an earlier age, or with colonoscopy.