Diagnostic Assessment Programs – Colorectal

The Colorectal Diagnostic Assessment Program (DAP) at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is designed to streamline the testing process for colorectal cancer so that patients can get a diagnosis faster. Patients are referred to the program by their primary care provider (family physician, nurse practitioner, etc.) if:

  • They have a positive Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) and are 50-74 years of age.
  • They have a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, or child) who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. A patient’s first colonoscopy should be at age 50 or ten years prior to their family member’s age at diagnosis.

It is important to note that a referral to the Colorectal Diagnostic Assessment Program does not necessarily mean that individual has colorectal cancer.

The Colorectal DAP team plans all tests and books appointments for patients as needed, including a colonoscopy. A Patient Navigator is available to support patients and their families during the testing process and to answer any questions you may have. Patients and family members can also visit the Diagnostic Assessment Program - Electronic Pathway Solution (DAP-EPS), an interactive website that provides provides patients and family members, DAP staff and healthcare providers with shared information and support.


Colorectal Diagnostic Assessment Program (DAP):

  • The colorectal Diagnostic Assessment Program offers colonoscopies to individuals who have had a positive Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) or individuals who have a first-degree family history of colorectal cancer.
  • Patients in the Colorectal Diagnostic Assessment Program can be enrolled in the Electronic Pathway Solution (EPS) – an easy to use patient website to guide patients throughout testing.
  • A Patient Navigator coordinates the screening colonoscopy, and is available to answer patient questions and provide support.
  • Having a first-degree family history of colorectal cancer means that person has an immediate relative (parent, sibling or child) who has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Who is on the Colorectal DAP team?

The Colorectal DAP team includes a Patient Navigator, colonoscopists (surgeons and gastroenterologists who perform colonoscopy procedures), nurses, and administrative staff. The care team works together to cover all aspects of a patient’s and family’s needs during testing, and provide the best possible care.  The team works closely with the patient’s primary care provider.

Where is the Colorectal DAP located?

Screening colonoscopies are scheduled in the Endoscopy/Surgical Day Care Department on Level 3 of the Health Sciences Centre.

Some patients may be scheduled for an appointment at their colonoscopist’s office before or after their colonoscopy.

What is a Colonoscopy?

A screening colonoscopy uses a long, flexible tube, called a colonoscope to examine the inside walls of the colon (large intestine). The tip of the colonoscope has a very small camera and light that allows the physician to see a picture of the colon wall on a television monitor.

Referrals – Information for Physicians and Nurse Practitioners

The Colorectal DAP accepts screening colonoscopy referrals from family doctors, primary care nurse practitioners, and physicians at walk-in clinics.

The Colorectal DAP follows guidelines from Ontario’s organized colorectal cancer screening program ColonCancerCheck

Patients are eligible if:

  • They have completed a positive Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) and are 50-74 years of age.
  • They have a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, or child) who had colorectal cancer. A patient’s first colonoscopy should be at age 50 or ten years prior to their family member’s age at diagnosis.

Click to view and print the Screening Colonoscopy Referral Form and fax to Endoscopy at: (807) 684-5859.

Please ensure that patients meet the DAP eligibility requirements outlined above.