COVID-19 and Colorectal Cancer Get The Facts

Colorectal cancer screening in Ontario is changing to the FIT

June 24, 2019

On June 24, 2019, colorectal cancer screening in Ontario is changing to the FIT.

What is the FIT?

The fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is a screening test for individuals at average risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) and is used to detect blood in your stool – a sign of CRC. The FIT is a more sensitive test than the previously used guaiac fecal occult blood test (gFOBT). FIT requires a single stool sample, is specific for human hemoglobin, and does not require medicine or dietary restrictions.

What is involved?

This free test will be sent directly to you in the mail and can be done in the comfort of your home by following the instructions provided with the kit. Once you have completed your FIT, it can be dropped off at any LifeLabs Patient Service Centre during business hours. Individuals living on a First Nation reserve can contact their health centre or nursing station to discuss drop-off options.

Why is screening important?

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in Canada. An estimated 26,800 Canadians and 10,400 Ontarians were diagnosed with colorectal cancer last year and sadly, about 9,400 Canadians and 3,250 Ontarians died from it. However, colorectal cancer is highly preventable and curable when detected at an early stage. For this reason, Colorectal Cancer Canada stresses the importance of getting screened with the FIT test if you are at average risk of CRC and are between the ages of 50 and 74.

FIT resources

If you have any questions, please contact Cancer Care Ontario toll-free at 1 866 662-9233 from Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm or screenforlife@cancercare.on.ca.

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