You’ve probably heard about the WHO’s announcement that processed meats like hot dogs and bacon are carcinogenic. This declaration resulted in a media outcry about having to give up our beloved prepared meats.

"The Canadian Cancer Society states colon cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in men and the third leading cause in women. When detected early, colon cancer is 90 percent treatable, so that’s where our focus should be — on increasing uptake on screening."

It’s the wrong conversation to have about cancer, especially colon cancer. We should be talking about screening and prevention — that’s where we can make a difference.

The Canadian Cancer Society states colon cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in men and the third leading cause in women. When detected early, colon cancer is 90 percent treatable, so that’s where our focus should be — on increasing uptake on screening.

If we can encourage more Canadians to overcome the “ick” factor associated with colon cancer testing, we could dramatically reduce the devastation of this disease.

Colon Cancer Canada launched an awareness campaign urging Canadians to just “Get the Test.” The test could be as simple as an at-home procedure. For those with a family history of colon cancer or who are over 50, it might be more appropriate to undergo a colonoscopy.

The WHO’s announcement has generated a public conversation on colon cancer — not an easy feat to accomplish — so let’s use the opportunity to encourage the choices that will really save lives: getting tested. That’s what the meat of the conversation should be.