FIT colorectal cancer screening

By Humber River Hospital

Colorectal (colon) cancer screening just got easier. And better.

The fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is now available in Ontario. It replaces the fecal occult blood test (FOBT).

Like the FOBT, FIT checks for signs of hidden blood in the stool, which can be a sign of colorectal cancer. However, FIT is more successful than FOBT at detecting colorectal cancers and some pre-cancerous polyps. It is also easier to use, as it only requires users to obtain one swab of stool sample. It’s simple.

FIT is safe. It is painless. It is easy to do in the comfort and privacy of home. And it can save your life. The earlier colorectal cancer is detected, the better the chances of successful treatment and recovery. And FIT is the best way to detect colorectal cancer early.

How does it work? There are clear instructions on the FIT kit, but basically you collect a swab sample of your stool (poop), put it in an envelope, and mail it to, or drop it at, a LifeLabs location. They will notify you of your test result, and if you need to follow up.
If you are an adult between 50 and 74 with no family history of colon cancer, you should probably take a FIT test every two years. Talk to your doctor. If you have a family history of colon cancer, you may need to get checked more often.

If you do not have a family doctor, call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-828-9213.

Learn more about getting checked for colon cancer: cancercareontario.ca/colon