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FIT Availability

Please note that the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is currently not available from labs in BC.

All lab providers in BC have suspended testing of FIT samples due to a problem with the liquid solution that is used in FIT sample testing. The labs are working to resolve this as quickly as possible and will have a better idea of timing in the next few weeks; however, early estimates indicate that it could take a number of months for FIT testing to resume.

If you already have a requisition from your doctor, keep your requisition and bring it to the lab to get your FIT kit once testing resumes in BC. If there are other tests recommended for you on the requisition you should go to the lab to have those tests completed. You will not be given a FIT kit at this time.

Your Questions

  • All lab providers in BC have suspended Fecal Occult Blood testing using the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) due to a manufacturer reagent problem.
  • The reagent is a liquid solution that is used in the testing of FIT samples. 
  • We are working to resolve this as quickly as possible and will have a better idea of timing in the next few weeks; however, early estimates indicate that it could take a number of months for FIT testing to resume.
  • For updates regarding the availability of the test, please visit www.screeningbc.ca/colon or call 1-877-70-COLON (26566).
  • If you have not received the result of your test, the lab is not able to perform the test on your specimen.
  • You will need to repeat the FIT once testing is available again in BC.
  • For updates regarding the availability of the test, please visit www.screeningbc.ca/colon or call 1-877-70-COLON (26566).
  • Keep your requisition and bring it to the lab to get your FIT kit once testing resumes in BC.
  • If there are other tests recommended for you on the requisition you should go to the lab to have those tests completed.
  • You will not be given a FIT kit at this time.
  • For updates regarding the availability of the test, please visit www.screeningbc.ca/colon or call 1-877-70-COLON (26566).
  • Presently, there is no laboratory screening test for fecal occult blood.
  • Do not refer patients for fecal immunochemical testing using the Standard Outpatient Laboratory Requisition at this time.
  • If you’ve referred patients for other tests, they can bring the requisition to the lab to have those other tests complete.
  • The Colon Screening Program will communicate with you when FIT is available again. 
  • More information for health care providers is available here.
  • The Colon Screening Program will notify you by mail when the FIT is available.
  • You should continue to follow the steps mentioned in the result letter. As mentioned in the letter, a positive result means blood has been found in your stool; it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer. Your health authority will contact you to discuss your next steps including referral for colonoscopy.
  • If you received a negative result letter (no blood found in your stool) you do not need follow-up at this time. The program will mail you a reminder notification when it’s time for you to re-screen.
  • You should repeat the test when the FIT becomes available in BC again.
  • For updates regarding the availability of the test, please visit www.screeningbc.ca/colon or call 1-877-70-COLON (26566).
  • The issue was identified in September.
  • If you recently received a positive result letter (blood in stool) from the Colon Screening Program, you should continue to follow the steps mentioned in the result letter. As mentioned in the letter, a positive result means blood has been found in your stool; it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer. Your health authority will contact you to discuss your next steps including referral for colonoscopy.
  • If you received a negative result letter (no blood found in your stool) you do not need follow-up at this time. The program will mail you a reminder notification when it’s time for you to re-screen.
  • If you have already received a requisition, keep your requisition and bring it to the lab to get your FIT kit once testing resumes in BC.
  • If there are other tests recommended for you on the requisition you should go to the lab to have those tests complete.
  • You will not be given a FIT kit at this time.
  • For updates regarding the availability of the test, please visit www.screeningbc.ca/colon or call 1-877-70-COLON (26566).
  • Please return your unused kit to a laboratory and they will dispose it for you.
  • Talk to your doctor about colon cancer screening (through colonoscopy) if you have at least one of the following:
    • a. One first degree relative (mother, father, sister, brother, daughter or son) with colon cancer diagnosed under the age of 60; or,
    • b. Two or more first degree relatives with colon cancer diagnosed at any age; or,
    • c. A personal history of adenomas.
  • Colonoscopy for patients who require it is still available province-wide.
  • Screening is only recommended for people who are not experiencing symptoms of colon cancer. 
  • Symptoms can include blood in your stool, abdominal pain, change in bowel habits, or weight loss. If you are experiencing these symptoms, talk to your doctor about the diagnostic testing you may need to determine the cause of these symptoms.
  • No alternate test is available at this time.
  • You should complete the test when the FIT becomes available in BC again.
  • For updates regarding the availability of the test, please visit www.screeningbc.ca/colon or call 1-877-70-COLON (26566).
  • The BC Cancer Agency values and relies on the partnership with primary care providers, health authorities and labs to deliver the Colon Screening Program:
    • a. The BC Cancer Agency Colon Screening Program has responsibility for:
      • i. developing provincial policies and program standards for screening
      • ii. patient FIT result notification (normal or notification for further follow up)
      • iii. recalling patients for re-screening or surveillance
      • iv. facilitating referrals to health authorities for patients who need pre-colonoscopy assessment
      • v. monitoring screening program performance and outcomes
    • b. Regional Health Authorities have responsibility for capacity planning and service delivery for pre-colonoscopy assessment, colonoscopy and pathology.
    • c. Primary Care Providers have responsibility for identifying eligible patients for screening and ordering fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) or referring high risk patients for colonoscopy.
    • d. Public and private laboratories within health authorities across BC are responsible for providing FIT kits to patients, and analyzing and reporting FIT results to physicians, nurse practitioners and the screening program.

 
An abnormal result does NOT mean that you have cancer. However, it is very important to attend follow-up tests to determine the reason for the abnormal result.

If you a have an abnormal result your doctor will make recommendations for follow-up testing. Usually colonoscopy is recommended. This is a common procedure that allows a specialist to look at the inside of the colon and rectum to make a diagnosis. For more information on results, click here. For more information on what it means to have an abnormal FIT result, watch the video below.



 

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