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Faecal Immunochemical Test FIT Bowel Screening

Understanding FIT – the FIT test looks for traces of blood in the stool

In a healthy bowel, there should be no reason for blood to appear in the stool. With some bowel conditions however, lesions can appear in the lining of the bowel, and these lesions can allow the passage of blood into the bowel. As digested matter is passed through the bowel, it may come in contact with the lesion(s) and this can result in blood being transferred to the digested matter.

Faecal immunochemical testing (FIT) looks for traces of blood in the stool, which may indicate that there is damage to the lining of the bowel. The FIT will not specify where in the bowel the bleeding has come from, or the nature of the affected area, but it will indicate to the Clinician that there is a pathology in need of further investigation.

You may be referred for a FIT test if you;

 

  • Have unexplained abdominal symptoms
  • Change in bowel habit lasting longer than 3 weeks
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Pain or lump in the stomach area or back passage
  • Are enrolled in a screening programme

Previously, most people with one or more of the above conditions would be referred for a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy. These procedures are unpleasant and not without risk, they are also costly for the NHS. FIT is a non-invasive and more cost-effective method to determine next steps and appropriate patient pathway for further investigation to diagnose the problem.

More information can be found at:

FIT - Information for patients

Patient Leaflet - How to complete your FIT (faecal immunochemical test)

www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk

60 second video

 

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