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.

How is the test done?

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

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

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.

For a FIT test, you put a small sample of stool in a tube or on a card that comes with the kit. You return this to your doctor or a lab.

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 you can.

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 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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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.