FIT Test Brochure
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in Canada. On average, every week 423 Canadians are diagnosed with the disease and 175 will die from it. However, colon cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. If screened and caught early, the chances of survival increase by 90%. Early screening can save lives.
The FIT is a test that looks for blood in stool that may be an early sign of colorectal cancer. It works by using an immunochemical method that is specific to human hemoglobin. The FIT is an alternative to the guaiac method that uses cards to collect 3 samples over 3 days. Since the FIT test has a higher sensitivity and higher specificity than the guaiac method it decreases the risk of false positives and false negatives. It also offers the advantages of no restrictions on diet or medication. Only a single sample is required.
Studies have shown that the convenience of providing samples using the FIT method result in higher completion rates (more people return the samples). Proper screening increases survival rates by detecting colorectal cancer earlier.
The following table compares the FIT test to the guaiac method:
Who should get screened?
The Canadian Association of Gastroenterology and the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation recommend that individuals aged 50 and over, or those with a family history of colorectal cancer, be screened every 2 years.
How do I get tested?
Obtain a requisition from your physician and take it to a LifeLabs patient service center. A collection kit will be provided to you. Take the kit home and follow the instructions.
Is there a charge for the test?
Yes. A fee will be charged before the collection kit is supplied. The FIT test is currently not covered under the BC provincial health plan, however it may be covered by extended health insurance. Check the details of your individual plan.
Who is at an increased risk of colorectal cancer?
- People aged 50 or older
- Individuals that consume a high fat, low fibre diet
- Individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's)
- Overweight individuals and those who are physically inactive
- Smokers and those who consume excessive amounts of alcohol
- Those with a family history of colorectal cancer (parent or sibling)
For more information on the FIT colon cancer test please contact LifeLabs BC:
- toll free at 1-800-663-9422
- email Contract.Service@LifeLabs.com ll