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.
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:
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.
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.