A Noninvasive Colon Cancer Test That’s FIT To Be Tried
Not so very long ago, colonoscopy was the gold standard for colon cancer screening. But times are a-changing. Last month when I went in for a checkup, my primary care doctor handed me a FIT test, a colon cancer test you can do at home without the unpleasantness and risk that turn people off to colonoscopy.
The FIT test, or fecal immunochemical blood test, is a newer and more accurate way to test for blood in stool, which can be a symptom of colon cancer.
In June, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an influential independent panel, endorsed the FIT test along with two other forms of fecal blood tests, as well as virtual colonoscopy and two invasive tests, colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy, as good ways to screen for colon cancer.
The task force didn’t play favorites; rather, it emphasized that the goal was to get more people tested, since one-third of adults between 50 and 75 have never been screened for colon cancer. It’s the third most common cancer in the U.S., killing about 50,000 people a year.