Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT): About This Test

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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 other types of gastrointestinal problems, such as hemorrhoids, anal fissures, 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?

There are different types of home tests available. It is important to follow the instructions provided with any test.

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.

There is a FIT test that shows the results right away. If your test shows that blood was found in your stool sample, call your doctor as soon as possible.

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

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