What Is a Colon Cancer Screening Kit?
The Insure FIT (Fecal Immunochemical Test) is a take-home kit that detects human blood in the stool. The kit is an easy-to-use package that you use in the privacy of your own home and mail the samples to a lab. To get a reliable sample, patients only need to gently brush the surface of the stool in water for about 5 seconds with the convenient, long-handled blue brush.
It has demonstrated an 87% sensitivity for colorectal cancer and is one of the screening options recommended by the guidelines from the American Cancer Society.
What Diseases/Conditions is Colon Cancer Screening Kit Linked To?
Blood in the stool can sometimes be a symptom of colon cancer. Colon cancer is a common form of cancer that can usually be cured if diagnosed and treated early enough.
Many conditions could cause blood in your stool, such as:
- anal fissure
- anal abscess or fistula
- inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- large polyps
- colon cancer
Symptoms of Colon Cancer
Symptoms often appear only after colon cancer has grown or spread. That’s why it’s best to be tested for colon cancer before ever having any symptoms. Colon cancer that’s found through screening – testing that’s done on people with no symptoms – is usually easier to treat.
Some common symptoms of colon cancer may include:
- A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
- A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so
- Rectal bleeding
- Dark stools, or blood in the stool
- Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unintended weight loss
Who May Want to take the Colon Cancer Screening Kit?
People with an average risk of colon cancer can consider screening beginning at age 50. But people with an increased risk, such as those with a family history of colon cancer, should consider screening sooner. African-Americans and American Indians may consider beginning colon cancer screening at age 45.
When colon cancer is found early, before it has spread, the 5-year relative survival rate is 90%. This means 9 out of 10 people with early-stage cancer survive at least 5 years. But if the cancer has had a chance to spread outside the colon, survival rates are lower.
- Being overweight or obese
- Physical inactivity
- Certain types of diets – high in red meats, processed meats; cooking meats at very high temperatures
- Heavy Alcohol use
- Age – more common after the age of 50
- History of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer
- History of inflammatory bowel disease
- Family history of Colorectal Cancer or Adenomatous polyps
- Inherited gene syndrome
- Racial background – African Americans have the highest incidence; Jews of Eastern European descent
- Type 2 Diabetes
Always seek the advice of your doctor if you have questions about your results.