Get the Test!

girl_back_clippedWe at Colon Cancer Canada find it unacceptable that colon cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths when 90% of cases could be cured if caught at an early stage.

It is with this statistic in mind that our awareness campaign urges Canadians to speak with their family physicians and ‘Get the Test’. For many Canadians the test could be as simple as an at-home FOBT (Fecal Occult Blood Test), additional information is available on For those with a family history of colon cancer, or who are over 50, it might be more appropriate to undergo a colonoscopy for screening. Speak with your doctor, know your risk category, and Get the Test. Finding colon cancer is better than dying from it.


A “How-to” guide for FOBT and FIT tests



*** note that each kit comes with its own instructions which must be followed; below are general instructions***

Generally, there are 3 methods of administration:

  1. Guaiac fecal occult blood test (gFOBT)— smear stool representatives from 3 consecutive days onto provided card using applicator stick, then return to physician or lab via mail
  2. Flushable pad/tissue— flushable pad is placed in toilet after bowel movement; any colour change of pad is recorded by patient on a mail-in-form to doctor
  3. Immunochemical fecal occult blood test (FIT)— collect stool sample on a special brush and insert brush into provided container; mail container along with patient information to doctor or lab


Preparing for the test


Doing the test



Table 1. Comparison between general guaiac fecal occult blood test (gFOBT)and immunochemical fecal occult blood test (FIT). Adapted from

Methodology Hydrogen peroxide is added to guaiac paper and stool sample; colour change is recorded Uses antibodies against globin
Sensitivity for colorectal tumoursa 16.7% 44.4%
Specificity for colorectal tumoursa 92.9% 82.1%
Diet /medication restraints Required None
Time Test must be done on 3 consecutive days Test requires one bowel movement only





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