Fecal Immunochemical Testing, or FIT, is part of the early screening process for colon cancer. On May 13, 2019, LifeLabs will transition to a new vendor for FIT testing in conjunction with the BC Cancer Colon Cancer Screening Program, BC’s Agency for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and the Ministry of Health.
We are pleased to offer this important testing system to continue to save lives by detecting colon cancer earlier. Colon cancer is easier to treat when found at an early stage; with early detection and treatment, survival rates are approximately 90%.
Advice for Patients and Health Care Providers
- Patients with existing FIT requisitions from their health care provider can bring their requisition to any lab in BC to receive their FIT kit.
- Patients who have an older FIT kit can still use it for sample collection; return the old kit as usual to any LifeLabs location – your results will still be processed. Labs will process all completed FITs from the previous FIT vendor that are returned to the lab by 12 July 2019.
- The new FIT kits have an updated design, but the collection process remains the same; detailed instructions are available in the kits.
- Results from the FIT tests will be available on the eHealth platform in a positive, negative or in valid indication; previously they were given a numeric value.
For questions regarding the Colon Screening Program please visit: www.screeningbc.ca/colon
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is FIT testing?
The screening test for colon cancer is called the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT). FIT detects hidden blood in stool which can be a sign of pre-cancer.
- Why is BC switching to a new vendor for FIT?
BC is switching FIT vendors because the contract for the previous vendor expired. Lab providers chose a different FIT manufacturer at this time.
- When will labs switch to this new kit?
Labs will start distributing the new vendor’s kits on 13 May 2019.
- Will labs still process FITs from the previous vendor?
Labs will process all completed FITs from the previous FIT vendor that are returned to the lab by 12 July 2019.
- Are the instructions for the new FIT the same?
The new FIT kit is different in how the container opens and closes compared to the previous manufacturer. This change is reflected in kit instructions distributed to patients.
FIT is an easy to use at-home test that does not require any diet or medication restrictions. The kit, once completed, should be returned to the lab for testing within 7 days.
- Will results be available on the eHealth portal?
Yes, results will be available on the eHealth portal.
- If a patient has an old/unused FIT kit, what should they do?
Complete the test and return it to a lab by 12 Jul 2019. Please note that after 12 Jul 2019 LifeLabs will not be accepting any samples that are collected with the previous vendors kit.
- After a patient submits their new FIT kit, when can they expect to receive their test results?
Patients can expect their results to be available within 1 – 2 weeks.
- How do patients get the FIT kit?
Patients can bring a completed requisition to any lab in BC to pick up a FIT kit.
- Should my patients delay picking up a FIT kit until after the new kits start being distributed?
No. There is no need for patients to wait to pick up their FIT kits.
- Who can I contact at LifeLabs if I have any questions about the new FIT vendor?
For any further questions, please email us at clientservice@LifeLabs.com.