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Yukon to launch colorectal cancer screening program

'This is something that we've been developing a case for over the last number of years and it's certainly been high on the agenda of Yukon physicians,' says Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon's chief medical officer of health.

Between 2002 and 2012, 174 cases of colon cancer were diagnosed in Yukon

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon's chief medical officer of health, says it will take time to launch the new colorectal cancer screening program. (CBC)

The Yukon will soon have a screening program for the second most diagnosed cancer in the territory: colorectal cancer.

Premier Darrell Pasloski made the announcement while speaking to the Yukon Medical Association, to the delight of Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon's chief medical officer of health.

"This is something that we've been developing a case for over the last number of years and it's certainly been high on the agenda of Yukon physicians, [who are] asking for better access and more accurate testing for screening," Hanley said.

Between 2002 and 2012, 174 cases of colon cancer were diagnosed in Yukon.

"Many, if not most, of those over 50 could have had their cancers detected earlier by a procedure called the fecal immune chemical test, or FIT," Pasloski said. "As you are probably aware, this screening test is easy to use and provides less false positives."

Pasloski said earlier detection should reduce the number of deaths from colorectal cancer.

Hanley said it will take time to develop the program.

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