The test screens for colorectal cancer by detection of blood cells in fecal specimen which can originate from bleeding anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract.
This is an at-home collection fecal immunochemical test or “FIT”. This test screens for colorectal cancer by looking for hidden blood in the stool, which can be an early sign of cancer. This test is the first step in the screening process and does not diagnose colorectal cancer. If blood is found in your stool sample, you’ll need further screening and evaluation, such as a colonoscopy, to confirm whether or not you have colorectal cancer or another condition.
This test may be helpful if you:
- Are between 45 and 75 years of age*
- Don’t have symptoms of colorectal cancer
- Had your last colorectal cancer stool screening over a year ago
- Had a negative colonoscopy over 10 years ago
*American Cancer Society recommends individuals at average risk for colorectal cancer begin screening at 45
This test may NOT be helpful if you:
- Have any symptoms of colorectal cancer, which may include:
- Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
- Changes in your bowel habits (eg, diarrhea, constipation, or pencil-thin stools) that last more than a few days
- Unexplained belly pain or cramping
- An urge to have a bowel movement that doesn’t go away after passing stool
- Unexplained weakness or tiredness
- Unexplained, significant weight loss
- Having a diagnosis of anemia
- Abdominal bloating that doesn’t go away
- Have a family history of colorectal cancer
- Have a personal history of colorectal cancer, inherited cancer syndromes, or other digestive tract cancers
- Have a personal history of colorectal conditions such as Cronkhite-Canada syndrome (CCS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease, or diverticulosis flare-up or colorectal ulcers in the past month
- Have had major bowel or rectal surgery (colectomy, colostomy, etc)
If any of the above apply to you, make sure you follow up with your healthcare provider.
If you have a result that detects blood in your stool, you will be notified and have the opportunity to speak with a licensed healthcare provider who can answer questions you may have about your results and help determine the next steps in care.
This test does not require fasting, and you do not need to stop taking any medications before collecting your sample.