How to Use a FIT Kit to Screen for Colorectal Cancer | Senior Health
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How to Use a FIT Kit to Screen for Colorectal Cancer

Most men and women ages 50 to 75 should be screened for colorectal cancer. Regular screenings can catch the disease early enough that a doctor can treat it.

Several tests can be used to screen for colorectal cancer. Stool-based tests like the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) check the stool for signs of cancer. The FIT is a newer kind of stool test that is less invasive and easier to have done.

There is no single “best test” for any person. It is good to know the facts.

 

 

  • Easy to do
  • Done in the privacy of your home and flexible for your schedule
  • No special changes to diets or medicines
  • No liquids/prep to drink
  • Not as many stool samples needed
  • Inexpensive and covered by most insurance
  • Can miss many polyps and some cancers
  • Needs to be done every year
  • May perform poorly without refrigeration or if there are postal delays
  • Colonoscopy will be needed if abnormal result
  • Some patients may find the test unpleasant. If this is the case, other options available may be right for you.

Talk to your doctor about the FIT test. If you agree the FIT is the right test for you, your doctor will give you all the supplies you need to collect the stool sample at home. If you are a Gateway Health member, you may also be eligible to have a FIT Kit sent right to your house. Call you Gateway Health Plan representative to discuss this option.

 

The Procedure

We realize this test isn’t going to be the most enjoyable experience. But there are a few ways to make your testing a little easier. First, get all of your supplies ready and in one place.

 

Here are a few ways to make your testing a little easier. First, get all of your supplies ready and in one place.

 

The kit will give you detailed instructions on how to collect the stool specimen. Be sure to follow the instructions provided, as instructions may vary. Below are instructions from the InSure® ONE™ FIT kit that Gateway Health mails to members.

 

 

The Results

This test allows you to collect a stool sample at home and send it to a lab. The lab looks for small amounts of blood in the stool that could be an early sign of colorectal cancer.  You will receive one of two results3.

 

  • A normal result means the test did not detect any blood in the stool.
  • An abnormal result means the test did detect blood in your stool, and your doctor will want to follow up with other tests like a colonoscopy.

 

If you have any questions about how to use your FIT kit, contact your doctor or clinic.

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/screening/tests.htm
  2. https://www.ccalliance.org/screening-prevention/screening-methods/fecal-immunochemical-test
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000704.htm

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