Colonoscopy vs. Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) - PIH Health - Whittier, CA

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Healthy Living Online

Published on January 03, 2018

Colon Cancer

Colonoscopy vs. Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)

Colon CancerIf you’ve turned 50 recently or will turn 50 this year, you’re probably wondering about colon cancer screening test options, especially if your annual wellness visit was recent and your Primary Care Physician (PCP) told you it’s time to get screened for colon cancer. Some information you should know regarding the two most commonly recommended colon cancer screening tests are a Colonoscopy screening and a Fecal Immunochemical Test, also know as FIT. Below are some important details.

Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)

FIT is a non-invasive test that detects small amounts of hidden blood in your stool. The test is relatively inexpensive; painless and safe, you simply collect a sample at home and ship directly to the lab. While this test may sound like a more pleasant option, there are some drawbacks. The FIT test can only detect cancer if it’s already present.

Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy requires some preparation time, but enables the doctor to view the rectum and the entire colon, and remove pre-cancerous polyps and other abnormal tissue during the test, if necessary. A colonoscopy is the only screening method that can actually prevent colon cancer, not just detect it.

The question becomes: Do you want to get screened to simply find cancer or to prevent the onset of cancer? Renee Palta DO with PIH Health Physicians Medical Group tells us “Because colon cancer is so prevalent – one in 20 people will get it in their lifetimes – we encourage patients to get a colonoscopy.” It could save your life, as well as time, money and a lot of stress. And a wide variety of preparation options are available—ask your doctor which is right for you.

To learn more or to schedule your colonoscopy, call 562.967.2656 or visit PIHHealth.org/Colonoscopy.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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