Colorectal cancer screening in Canada: 2021/2022

About this section

Fecal testing is commonly used as an entry level screening test for colorectal cancer, although the type of fecal test offered (guaiac or immunochemical testing) and sampling details for the fecal test may differ. This section summarizes the testing information of each jurisdiction.

Colorectal screening fecal testing information

sample of a fecal test with instruction cardTests used in Canada

Nine provinces and three territories offer FIT as an entry level test for colorectal screening. Most provinces and territories require one sample collection for the FIT, with the exception of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador which require two. FIT cut-off values also vary across the country, ranging from ≥ 50 ng/ml to ≥ 175 ng/ml.

FIT tests used in Canada

P/T Manufacturer Distributor Number of samples/ Number of stools FIT cut-off value FIT cut-off value (in mcg of Hgb/g)
YT Polymedco Somagen 1/1 ≥  100 ng/ml 20 mcg of Hgb/g
NT Polymedco Somagen 1/1 >75 ng/ml
NU Immunostics Hema-Screen Abbott 1/1 50 µg of Hgb/g
BC Eiken Somagen 1/1 ≥ 50 ng/ml 10 mcg of Hgb/g
AB Polymedco Somagen 1/1 ≥ 75 ng/ml
SK Polymedco Somagen 1/1 ≥ 100 ng/ml 20 mcg of Hgb/g
ON Polymedco Somagen 1/1
QC Polymedco Somagen 1/1 ≥ 175 ng/ml
NB Polymedco Somagen 1/1 > 100 ng/ml
NS Alfresa Pharma Abbott 1/1 ≥100 ng/ml 20 mcg of Hgb/g
PE Alfresa Pharma Abbott 1/2* ≥ 100 ng/ml 20 mcg of Hgb/g
NL Alfresa Pharma Abbott 2/2* ≥ 100 ng/ml 20 mcg of Hgb/g

PE and NL: *If 1 of 2 samples is over cut-off value, overall result is positive.
-No information was provided at the time the data were collected.

At the time of data collection in 2021, Manitoba was the only province which offers FTg as an entry level test for their colorectal screening program. FTg is offered to eligible individuals every two years. In this environmental scan, FTg is also referred to as FOBT.

Manitoba is currently in the planning and development stages of switching to using FIT.

FTg tests used in Canada

P/T Brand name Test name Number of samples/ number of stools Number of labs processing test results
MB Beckman Coulter Inc. Hemoccult II SENSA 2/3 1