A FIT alternative to colonoscopy comes home in the US
The much-feared colonoscopy is increasingly been replaced in the US by FIT, the faecal immunochemical test, an at-home test that is as reliable as the traditional screening health experts say, and more agreeable, according to an article in The New York Times.
Patients who should be screened regularly (age 50 to 75) and who are of average risk, get a letter telling them about a home test kit arriving by mail.
Itʼs a FIT, which stands for faecal immunochemical test. The small cardboard mailer contains equipment and instructions for taking a stool sample and returning the test to a lab, to detect microscopic amounts of blood. A week or so later, the results show up on an online patient portal.
The report says 5% to 6% of patients will have a positive test and need to schedule a follow-up colonoscopy. But the great majority are finished with colon cancer screening for the year – no uncomfortable prep, no need to skip work or find someone to drive them home after anaesthesia, no colonoscopy.