Colorectal Cancer Screening
The fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is a simple, at home test used to screen for colorectal cancer among people with an average risk of developing cancer. FIT kits are available at all health centres, health cabins and regional hospitals for patients to take home. Colorectal cancer screening is recommended every 1 to 2 years for men and women aged 50-74 years who are at average risk. If colorectal cancer is part of your family history, you are considered to have a higher risk of developing cancer and should begin screening at age 40, or ten years earlier than the youngest age when colorectal cancer was diagnosed in the family, whichever comes first. Talk to your health care provider regarding when you should start. In this case, the screening tool is the colonoscopy, an exam that finds abnormalities in the colon.
If you or a family member has already had cancer, or you are experiencing any new or unusual signs or symptoms, discuss your options for cancer screening with your health care provider. You could be eligible for different screening tests, or screening at an earlier age.
The FIT kit comes with a test card, long brush, waste bag, and mailing envelope. There are no diet requirements to complete the FIT. Always follow the instructions provided with the kit to collect your samples.