What is bowel screening?
Bowel screening is performed via the fecal immunochemical test (FIT). This is a new test that detects small amounts of blood hidden in the stool. This trace amount may indicate polyps or cancer, since blood vessels at the surface of polyps or cancers are often damaged by passing stool.
How does FIT work?
You will receive complete instructions with your FIT kit, but generally the test simply involves making a bowel movement onto supplied paper, taking a hands-free sample with a collection stick and dropping the stick into a secure collection tube. You return the specimen pouch in person to the PHCC lab nearest you, according to the instructions.
PHCC informs you, and your doctor, of results and recommends appropriate follow-up.
Advantages of the FIT
- Private—can be done in your home.
- Convenient—can be done at any time, without waiting for an appointment.
- Easy—a few simple, easy-to-follow steps.
- Efficient—no preparation drinks or change in diet necessary.
- Accurate—identifies only human blood in the targeted area.
If results from the FIT are positive, it is important to adhere to follow-up recommendations to determine your exact health status.
A positive FIT test result does not necessarily mean you have bowel cancer.