Health Information and Tools > Patient Care Handouts >  Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT): About This Test
Facebook Tweet Email Share

Main Content

Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT): About This Test

What is it?

A fecal immunochemical test, or FIT, checks for hidden blood in the stool. Your doctor gives you a kit that contains everything you need. At home, you follow simple steps to collect a small amount of stool. You return the kit to the doctor or to a lab.

Why is this test done?

This test is done to check for colorectal cancer and colon polyps, that can cause blood in the stools.

How can you prepare for the test?

  • Don't do the test during your menstrual period or if you are having bleeding from hemorrhoids.

What happens during the test?

It is important to follow the instructions provided with the FIT kit.

Here are some general instructions:

  • Check the expiration date on the package. Don't use a test kit after its expiration date.
  • Follow the instructions exactly. Do all the steps, in order, without skipping any of them.
  • After you finish your test, follow the instructions that you were given for returning the test.
  • You will have to repeat the FIT if the sample freezes, if it is stored somewhere too hot, or if it is not brought to the lab within 7 days after collecting it.

If your test shows that blood was found in your stool sample, you may need to have a colonoscopy. Talk with your doctor about having a colonoscopy if the FIT showed blood in your stool.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

Enter A832 in the search box to learn more about "Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT): About This Test".

Adapted with permission from copyrighted materials from Healthwise, Incorporated (Healthwise). This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty and is not responsible or liable for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.