About the test
While a colonoscopy is still considered to be the gold standard in screening for colon cancer, it is no longer the only screening option.
There is now a second option for colon cancer screening – a new test called the fecal immunochemical test or FIT, which is less intrusive than a colonoscopy.
FIT can detect human blood proteins in a patient’s stool sample. While the amount of blood is microscopic, FIT shows if there is a problem. If necessary, doctors can follow up with a colonoscopy to remove polyps and make a diagnosis.
For people without insurance, FIT can be a cost-effective alternative to the colonoscopy, but a physician will need to determine if it is appropriate, depending on symptoms, family history and more. There are other fecal blood testing screening tests on the market, but none have proven as cheap and accurate as FIT, which can cost less than an A1c blood glucose test.
If you are over 50 years old, and have not been screened for colon cancer, stop putting it off and talk to your doctor about screening options.