How is the test performed?
FIT is the recommended screening test for people at average risk* of getting colon cancer in Ontario. FIT is available across the province through Cancer Care Ontario’s organized colon cancer screening program, ColonCancerCheck.
FIT is a safe and painless cancer screening test that can be done at home and only takes a few minutes. FIT checks someone’s stool (poop) for tiny amounts of blood, which could be caused by colon cancer and some pre-cancerous polyps (growths in the colon or rectum that can turn into cancer over time).
FIT has many advantages, such as:
- It is user-friendly and reduces contact with stool
- You only need to collect one stool sample
- You can eat and take your medications as usual
*Average risk is defined as people ages 50 to 74 with no first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister or child) who has been diagnosed with colon cancer.
People at average risk of colon cancer should be screened with FIT every two years.
A person is at average risk if they are 50 to 74 years old with no first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister, child) who has been diagnosed with colon cancer.
You can discuss your eligibility for a ColonCancerCheck FIT with your family doctor or nurse practitioner. If you are eligible for a FIT, the test will be ordered for you and LifeLabs will then mail a FIT package to your Ontario mailing address of choice.
- If you do not have a family doctor or nurse practitioner, please call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-828-9213.
- If you are in the North West region or the Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand Brant region you can visit a mobile screening coach to discuss your eligibility for FIT.
- If you live on a First Nation reserve, you can visit a health centre or nursing station for more information.
Your family doctor or nurse practitioner will get a copy of your test result from LifeLabs. Cancer Care Ontario will also mail you a letter with your test result a few weeks after you have returned your completed FIT.
It is important to return your completed FIT as soon as possible (within 2 days of taking your sample).
- You can mail your completed FIT using the pre-paid yellow return envelope provided in the FIT package.
- You can also drop it off at a LifeLabs Patient Service centre – visit the LifeLabs Location Finder (locations.lifelabs.com) for drop-off locations and hours.
- If you live on a First Nations reserve, please contact your health centre or nursing station to discuss drop off options.
- If you have questions about how to return your completed FIT, call LifeLabs at 1-833-676-1426.