One type of colorectal cancer screening test, the fecal immunochemical test (FIT), is currently unavailable in British Columbia due to a manufacturing defect with the liquid reagent used in this test. All BC labs have suspended use of this test until they fix the problem, which may take up to six months from the discovery of the manufacturing defect in late September, 2017.
The FIT involves using a requisition from your physician to obtain a FIT kit from a medical lab, bringing it home, using it to collect a stool sample, then returning it to the lab for testing. Lab technicians then analyze the stool sample for traces of blood. If the result is positive, your physician will likely perform a colonoscopy to determine the source of the blood in the sample.
However, the labs that handle these tests noticed that the recent FIT tests were experiencing an unusually high rate of false positive results.
The FIT test is typically used for patients at an average risk for colorectal cancer. Colonoscopy is another diagnostic test, which is still available for those who are at a high risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Visit the BC Cancer Agency website to learn more.