An abnormal result means blood was found in your stool sample. While most people with an abnormal result do not have cancer, more testing is needed to determine the cause of the bleeding. Most often the recommended follow-up test is a colonoscopy¹.
What should I do next?
It’s important that you make an appointment with your family doctor or regular healthcare provider as soon as possible to discuss your abnormal FIT result. Talk with your healthcare provider about whether a colonoscopy is the right test for you.
What if I don’t have a family doctor?
Find a family doctor accepting new patients in your area and make an appointment. Visit ahs.ca and click on ‘Find Healthcare’ or call Health Link at 8-1-1.
Make an appointment at a Walk-In-Clinic. Some communities have walk-in-clinics that don’t require an appointment. Walk-in clinics are staffed by family doctors. To find a walk-in-clinic near you consult your Yellow Pages directory at yp.ca or call Health Link at 8-1-1.
If you have questions or need further assistance, please call the Alberta Colorectal Cancer Screening Program toll-free at 1-866-727-3926.
What causes an abnormal FIT result?
A FIT can only detect blood in the stool (poop). It can’t identify the reason why there was blood in your stool. Blood in the stool can be there for many reasons and does not always mean you have cancer or pre-cancerous polyps. It can also be there because of hemorrhoids or other conditions. When blood is found in your stool, it’s important to find out what may have caused it. In most cases, a colonoscopy test is recommended. You will need to get a referral from your family doctor for a colonoscopy test.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy test allows the doctor to look at the inner lining of your rectum and colon (bowel) using a thin, flexible tube with a small video camera on the end of it. This test takes about 30 to 40 minutes. You can get medicine to make you comfortable during the colonoscopy.
Why is a follow-up colonoscopy recommended?
A colonoscopy test can help find the cause of blood in your stool. Having a follow-up colonoscopy can prevent colorectal cancer by helping your healthcare provider find and remove polyps (small abnormal growths) before they turn into cancer. When colorectal cancer is found early, it can be more successfully treated. About 90% of cases are successfully treated if found early².
1. Colorectal Cancer Screening Clinical Practice Guideline. Toward Optimized Practice. November 2013.
2. Surveillance & Reporting. Cancer Research & Analytics, Alberta Health Services.