1) What is the NB Colon Cancer Screening Program?
The NB Colon Cancer Screening Program was developed by the New Brunswick Cancer Network at the Department of Health with the goal of decreasing the number of colon cancer deaths in New Brunswick. The program invites all New Brunswickers aged 50 to 74 to participate in regular colon cancer screening.
The program is an active member of the National Colorectal Cancer Screening Network, under the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.
2) How does the colon program work?
The NB Colon Cancer Screening Program was developed by the New Brunswick Cancer Network at the Department of Health. As a participant of the program, the following process occurs:
• Individuals aged 50 to 74 are invited by letter to participate in the program.
• Invitation letters include a request for an at-home test with questions to answer.
• These answers will determine if the at-home test is the right screening test.
• The at-home test (FIT- Fecal Immunochemical Test) will be mailed to eligible participants.
• Participants will mail their specimen to the provincial laboratory for analysis.
• The laboratory FIT results done in NB are securely transferred to the program and to the associated primary health-care provider (doctor or nurse).
• The program tracks screening activity based on recommendations of the NB Colon Cancer Screening Clinical Practice Guidelines .
• If FIT is normal → participant is re-invited in two years.
• If FIT is abnormal → participant is called by the colon program nurse.
• The program nurse will determine the next steps needed for follow-up.
• The program nurse will facilitate the appropriate referrals or bookings.
3) What are Clinical Practice Guidelines?
Clinical practice guidelines are evidence-based recommendations that should be used by health care providers, in addition to sound clinical decision making.
The NB Colon Cancer Screening Program-Clinical Practice Guideline, originally developed in 2013 by a multi-stakeholder working group, has been updated in March 2022 following a review of current evidence. These guidelines are intended to assist health care providers in optimizing colon cancer screening in New Brunswick.
The revised guideline is available to health professionals: NB Colon Cancer Screening Program - Clinical Practice Guideline
4) What information does the program keep?
By adhering to provincial privacy laws, the NB Colon Cancer Screening Program uses available colon screening information from the Department of Health to ensure New Brunswick individuals are included within the provincially organized screening program.
The New Brunswick Department of Health provides the program with personal health information (name, address, birth date and Health Care Number) and some screening data (colonoscopy and cancer diagnosis, as applicable) so it can send you program letters, as required.
The information from the form that you complete and mail to the program is kept secure. The results of the at-home screening test (FIT) are kept to determine the participants who need follow-up tests, and the results of any follow-up tests such as a colonoscopy are kept for monitoring. All of this information will also help to improve the program over time.
If you want more information on how your privacy is protected or wish to raise a concern about how your personal information is handled by the colon program, please visit the Department of Health Privacy and Acess or contact the program at 1-844-777-3443.
5) How is my information kept private?
Privacy laws ensure that the program collects and uses ONLY the information required as part of monitoring and communicating with you about your colon cancer screening information. All personal health information is safeguarded within the Personal Health Information Privacy and Access Act that governs the way in which organizations and individuals collect, maintain and use personal information in the delivery of health services.
This means that:
• all program staff are required to protect your privacy;
• the names of screening participants will not be used in any program evaluation or public reports.
If you want more information on how your privacy is protected or wish to raise a concern about how your personal information is handled by the colon program, please visit Department of Health Privacy and Access or contact the program at 1-844-777-3443.
6) What if I do not want to be part of the program?
If you have questions, concerns or do not want to be part of the NB Colon Cancer Screening Program, call 1-844-777-3443.
By choosing to not participate, this means:
• you will not be invited by the program,
• you will not be sent the colon cancer screening test in the mail,
• you will not be reminded to do the test every two years,
• you and your doctor will be responsible for all colon cancer screening.
7) What if I want to return to the program?
If you have questions, or if you want to re-join the program, please call 1-844-777-3443.
8) How can I find out more about the program?
To learn more about the NB Colon Cancer Screening Program, call 1-844-777-3443.