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Forzani & MacPhail Colon Cancer Screening Centre

Patient Referrals

Eligibility Criteria

Referrals for screening will be triaged and assigned a priority and recommended screening test based on the information included in the referral form.

Incomplete referrals, referrals for patients that do not meet current screening guidelines, and referrals that do not meet eligibility criteria will not be accepted and will be returned to the referring physician. Consistent with the recommendation of the ACRSCP, the CCSC supports the use of the FIT (fecal immunochemical test) as the preferred screening method for those at average risk for colon cancer.

  1. Age 50 - 75 years with valid AHCIP coverage and eligible reason for referral (see below)
  2. Asymptomatic. No GI signs or concerning symptoms requiring specialist consultation (i.e. rectal bleeding, anemia, new GI symptoms)
  3. No medical conditions that would increase the risk of sedation or colonoscopy. Not on Coumadin.

The referring physician must inform the CCSC of any changes in the patient that could affect priority or eligibility.

Eligible Reasons for Referral

  • Average Risk Screening: 50 – 75 years, asymptomatic, no personal or family history of polyps or colon cancer.
  • Personal history of colon cancer or adenomatous polyps.
  • Positive FIT performed in an asymptomatic individual for colon cancer screening.
  • Family history of colon cancer or adenomatous polyps.

Triage Priority

New referrals are triaged and assigned a priority based on the individual’s risk factors for colon cancer.

Those at average risk for colon cancer are assigned a priority of “routine” and are accommodated as space allows. The anticipated wait time until colonoscopy for this individual is more than 18 months. We expect the referring physician to recommend annual FIT until the individual is seen at the CCSC. It is important that the CCSC be informed of any change in the individual’s risk factors for colon cancer or medical status. Please read this for more information on Triage guidelines.

Note: CCSC will cancel referrals on the waiting list if the patient becomes ineligible for colon cancer screening or colonoscopy at the CCSC due to age or other eligibility criteria.

Expected Wait Times

CCSC expected wait times vary, but in general, below are the expected wait times based on CCSC established priorities:

  • Routine: > 24 months
  • Moderate Risk Factors: < 6 months
  • Urgent Risk Factors: < 3 months
  • Urgent Priority Risk Factors: < 6 weeks

Priority Ratings

  • Routine (No Risk Factors):
    No personal or family history of colon cancer
  • Moderate Risk Factors:
    Family history of colon cancer
  • Urgent Risk Factors:
    Very strong family history of colon cancer or advanced polyps, or personal history of polyps or cancer
  • Urgent Priority Risk Factors:
    Positive FIT