Stool Test (Fecal Immunochemical Blood Test)

At Kaiser Permanente, we use the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) to test for colorectal cancer.

For the FIT, there are no special instructions or advance planning needed to prepare for the test.

Taking the Test

Your doctor or nurse will give you a testing kit to take home, or you may call your doctor's office to have a kit mailed to you. Directions are included in the testing kit. You will be collecting a small stool sample at home. It's very important that you follow the directions in the kit to get the most accurate results.

General instructions to follow with any home test include:

  • Store the test kit as directed.
  • Follow all instructions provided with the testing kit.
  • Write the date that you took the stool sample on the tube. You will see a place to record the date just below the patient label. The lab won't be able to process your sample without the date.

Once you have finished the test, mail the sample within 3 days of collection. Use the postage paid envelope included with your kit.

You will receive your test results by mail. If you have registered for Personal Online Services and get your care at a Kaiser Permanente medical offices clinic, you also can see your results online as soon as they are available.

Understanding the Results

Normal (negative) results: Normal results show that blood wasn't found in your stool.

Abnormal (positive) results: Abnormal results show that blood was found in your stool. This doesn't mean you have cancer, but you will need further testing. Generally, we recommend a colonoscopy as the next step.

If you have questions about colon cancer screening tests or how to perform the stool test, contact your doctor's office.

Clinical review by David Grossman, MD
Kaiser Permanente
Reviewed 06/05/2014
Unsure About the Stool Test?

In this video, from the test kit manufacturer, patients talk about how easy the home kit is to use, and how this simple test may have saved their lives.