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Talking to your patients

As a health care provider, your recommendation can impact your patient’s screening decision. It is important to provide information to individuals about the benefits and potential harms of screening so an informed choice can be made.

Benefits and potential harms of screening: Facilitating informed decision making with patients

ColonCheck's Screening Guidelines (pdf) aim to ensure individuals receive the greatest benefit from cancer screening while minimizing potential harms.

Health care providers should facilitate this discussion with their patients to:
  • Foster the patient’s understanding of the test, its benefits, and potential harms, and

  • Support patient participation in the clinical decision – one that is informed and consistent with the individual’s preferences and values.

The balance of benefits and potential harms differs by age. Refer to the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care to support the decision- making process.


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