Our colon collapses as people age. But, there are also times that our colon collapses in the early stage of life. This is because of the cancer cells. Colon polyps are often occurring when we age and often not health-threatening because usually it’s not cancerous or it’s benign. However, in some circumstances and factors that benign polyp can be a cancerous polyp, and the cancer cells may metastasize or spread in a different part of the body that may result in a lot of health complications especially if we are following an unhealthy lifestyle.
A polyp is finger-like growths in the colon or the rectum part of the digestive system. A polyp is sensitive they bleed easily especially when food waste is brushed against them. The naked eye can not see this. It can only be seen by test for occult blood in the stool.
To be able to detect colon cancer early several types of tests can be performed to check the early sign of it such as the Fecal Immunochemical Test or FIT.
Fecal Immunochemical Test is to determine the early sign of colon cancer or you are at risk of having such. This test is performed by examining the stool of the patient if there is any blood came from the digestive tract which indicates an early sign of colon cancer. FIT can only determine human blood came from the lower intestine. Food and medications won’t make any difference of the test result there for this test are almost 100 % accurate and if there are false results just only a few percentages.
It’s best to undergo the test when you are at the age of 45 and 75. Medical experts advise that when you are at this range of age you should undergo the test annually to monitor the health of your colon. But even you are not in this age bracket but you notice something wrong in your stool or there is gastrointestinal bleeding you should ask your doctor if you can perform the test so that you can know if there is something wrong in your colon and digestive tract.
The test is performed to be able to know the early sign of cancer in the colon. Blood in the stool is cannot be seen in the naked eye unless it will undergo FIT. This test can detect a problem in the colon and the spread of the cancer cell will be treated before it will spread to the body.
How The Fecal Immunochemical Test Perform?
Your doctor will give you instructions on how you will do the test at home. Usually, the doctor will provide you a kit that you can use to get the stool sample. Make sure that you are following all the steps correctly. The following are some of the procedures your doctor will tell you.
- Flash the toilet before bowel movement to make sure that the stool you get is clean and good for the test and free contamination.
- Do not put toilet paper in the toilet bowl put it on the trashcan to avoid contamination of the sample stool.
- Use the brush from the kit to get a sample from the above part of the stool after that deep the brash in the toilet bowl water.
- Touch the brash on space that the test card indicates.
- After using the brash throw it away in the trash bag.
- Send your stool sample to the laboratory for the actual testing.
- Sometimes your doctor will make you test your stool several times after a few days. FIT is painless and safe for everyone.
You will do nothing to prepare for the test. Just follow the instruction given by your doctor.
Do not undergo the test if you have the following;
- Active bleeding from anal fissure and hemorrhoid and other types of bleeding.
- Blood is present in your urine because of acute Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).
- If you are having your monthly menstruation or during three days after your menstruation ends.
If the result of your FIT is normal it means there is no problem in your colon. But sometimes cancer cells in the colon did not bleed. It’s advisable to take the test several times to confirm that there is no blood in the stool to make sure that you are cancer-free. If your result is negative you still need to talk to your doctor for the next step to improve your health as a whole. Usually, your medical provider or doctor will advise you to repeat the test within 3-5 years after.
If the FIT test is positive it means that blood is present in the stool sample. Your doctor will advise you to undergo different tests including colonoscopy since FIT cannot diagnose cancer. But performing sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy can detect cancer in the body. FIT can only diagnose a sign of early development of cancer in the colon if there is any.
Do not panic if the result is positive because there are different reasons why your stool has blood. If this happens, call your doctor and talk to him. He may want you to undergo different tests to confirm your result and to make an action on what medication you need to receive.
Cancer screening is good for everyone so that you can treat cancer at an early stage. Do not feel afraid because precaution is much better than cure. Cancer screening is proven to reduce the mortality of cancer.
Today FIT is also used in the investigation of the diagnosis of an asymptomatic colon cancer patient. FIT is used to test the symptomatic patient who does not experience bleeding and did not meet the criteria of colon cancer. However, they display unexplained symptoms. The main goal of FIT is to help the doctor to determine if the patient has or at risk of colon cancer especially those who did not display any symptoms so that they will be advised to undergo different tests such as colonoscopy.