Questions & Answers

Who should get tested for colorectal cancer?

Every person, 50 years and older, should be screened every two years. Higher risk patients should be monitored from an earlier age and more frequently. Colorectal cancer gives no symptoms until late in the disease. It is important to be screened even without symptoms; early detection usually leads to a complete recovery. You can be screened for colorectal cancer before the age of 50.

How often will I need to have the COLOGIC test?

It is recommended that testing for colorectal cancer occurs every two years. Testing with COLOGIC should follow the same guidelines as with other common colorectal fecal based screening tests.

Does COLOGIC perform well as a colorectal screening test?

Yes. There have been various studies in peer-reviewed journals, including a soon to be published study with 4,923 patients. Please see the Science & Clinical Benefits section for more details.

Where can I get the COLOGIC test?

COLOGIC is currently available at all CML HealthCare lab locations across Ontario. We are making every effort to ensure that COLOGIC becomes available to any Canadian who wishes to have the test. Please continue to check the COLOGIC website for updates on where to get COLOGIC.

To find a lab location near you in Ontario, please use the CML HealthCare clinic locator, and select "Lab Services" from the Test Type menu.

Where will the lab results go?

Lab results will go directly to the doctor. He/She will inform you if a follow-up is required.

Will my insurance company pay for COLOGIC?

Insurance plans for employees vary. It is likely an insurance plan will cover the cost of the test, but to be certain, you will have to submit a receipt with an insurance form to your insurance company.

Why isn't COLOGIC paid for by my provincial health plan?

Every province has its own rules about which lab tests will be paid by the government. Not all lab tests are paid by the government and it is the responsibility of the consumer to pay for the lab tests not covered by a provincial health plan.

How does COLOGIC compare to other colorectal screening tests?

View chart comparing current common testing modalities.

How will the COLOGIC result be used by my doctor?

COLOGIC is a simple first step to understand your risk of colorectal cancer. It follows the current approach for clinical standards of care. Men and women over 50 should be tested every 2 years. A positive result for a patient should be followed up by a colonoscopy. COLOGIC can be used to replace FOBT or FIT (fecal tests) within current recommended frequency and clinical testing guidelines. A positive COLOGIC test result and a positive FOBT/FIT test result have identical short-term clinical ramifications, i.e. the patient is recommended for colonoscopy. A positive result should lead to a clinical decision to proceed with a colonoscopy. Patients with low GTA-446 serum levels detected with the COLOGIC test should be managed as high risk. Find out more

What preparation is required to have the COLOGIC test?

COLOGIC is a very simple test. COLOGIC is a blood-based test that requires a small patient blood sample at a lab, similar to most other common blood-based lab tests. Other fecal screening tests such as FOBT and FIT, can require advanced patient preparation, reading and following instructions carefully, smearing three stool (fecal) samples gathered over multiple days, and mailing the sample envelope to a laboratory. COLOGIC does not require advanced preparation or extended collection periods.

Can COLOGIC predict cancer risk?

COLOGIC is a predictive test.

The FIT and FOBT tests are based upon the premise that abnormal growths in the colon, when severe enough, will bleed. A positive test result simply means there is blood in the stool, which can be caused by things other than cancer. If the cause of the blood in the stool is a tumour, it cannot be detected by FIT or FOBT until the tumour is large enough to cause bleeding.

COLOGIC is independent of tumour growth. COLOGIC detects serum markers that, when too low, are linked to a risk for colorectal cancer. The levels of these serum markers decrease in blood before cancer develops (Ritchie et al. BMC Gastroenterology, 2010, 10:140), and have been shown to have anti-cancer properties (Ritchie et al. Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2011, 30:59). People with low serum levels should be considered at elevated risk for colorectal cancer presence and/or future development.

How do I get tested?

Speak to your doctor about being tested and obtain a lab requisition form. Bring the form into a CML lab location to provide a small blood sample.

What are my choices for being tested for colorectal cancer?

Generally, there are two types of screening tests.

1. Fecal tests involve following careful instructions to collect and smear three fecal samples at home over a period of three days and mailing the samples to a central laboratory.

2. COLOGIC is a simple blood test that does not require any advanced preparation, only the collection of a small blood sample at a CML lab location.

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