Learn more about the at-home stool test for colon cancer

This test looks for hidden blood in your stool. It needs to be taken once each year. It is recommended for patients with an average risk of colon cancer.

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How does the stool test work?

A stool test — known as a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical test (FIT) — is an easy, once-a-year screening test for colon cancer that you can do in the privacy of your own home. You can pick up the test kit from a doctor or medical provider. The kit comes with a stick or brush that you use to collect a sample of your stool. Follow the instructions that come with the kit and return the kit to your doctor or a lab.

The doctor or lab will look for hidden blood in your stool sample. This hidden blood could be an early sign of colon cancer.

What happens after the stool test?

If your doctor or lab finds blood in your stool sample, you will need a colonoscopy to see if there is cancer, a polyp, or other cause of bleeding. When colon cancer is found and treated early, it can be cured. When polyps are found and removed, colon cancer can be prevented.

Is it covered by insurance?

All insurance plans cover stool tests (known as FOBT or FIT kits). You should talk to your doctor about the best test for you.

Learn more

Learn more about screening tests here.

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