Fecal Globin by Immunochemistry (InSure®) Most Popular

The Fecal Globin by Immunochemistry (InSure®) test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Brief Description: The Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is a laboratory test used to detect the presence of blood in the stool. It is a non-invasive screening tool that helps identify the possible presence of gastrointestinal bleeding, which can be an indication of various conditions or diseases.

Also Known As: Fecal Immunochemical Test, Fecal Occult Blood Test, Stool Occult Blood Test, FIT, FOBT

Collection Method: Fecal specimen collected from toilet water and brushed onto InSure® FOBT test card

Specimen Type: Fecal Specimen

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Fecal Globin test ordered?

A Fecal Immunochemical Test may be ordered in the following situations:

  1. Colorectal Cancer Screening: FIT is commonly used as a screening tool for colorectal cancer. It is recommended for individuals who are at average risk of developing colorectal cancer and who are of the appropriate age for screening. Regular screening helps detect early signs of colorectal cancer or precancerous conditions, allowing for timely intervention.

  2. Evaluation of Symptoms: FIT may also be ordered when a person presents with symptoms such as unexplained gastrointestinal bleeding, changes in bowel habits, or persistent abdominal pain. It helps determine if blood is present in the stool, which can provide valuable diagnostic information.

What does a Fecal Globin test check for?

The majority of colon cancer cases begin with the formation of benign intestinal polyps. Benign polyps are quite common in adults over 50, and while the majority do not cause health problems, some can turn malignant and spread to other parts of the body. These finger-like growths protrude into the rectum or the intestinal cavity. They can be delicate and bleed on occasion, as when food debris rubs against them.

The blood expelled is normally not visible in the stool, but a fecal occult blood test or a fecal immunochemical test can detect it. The FOBT and FIT are effective colorectal cancer screening techniques because this small amount of blood may be the earliest and sometimes only evidence of early colon cancer. A guaiac-based test, an over-the-counter flushable reagent pad, and an immunochemical technique are all options for testing.

It is advised that at least three stool samples be taken on different days be tested. According to the American Cancer Society, a single test performed during a digital rectal exam at a doctor's office is not recommended since it may not be sensitive enough to detect cancer. Because collecting feces on three different days increases the chances of identifying cancer, the home FOBT or FIT is advised. Additionally, those who choose this type of colon cancer screening should be screened every year.

Lab tests often ordered with a Fecal Globin test:

When a Fecal Globin by Immunochemistry test is ordered, it's often part of a broader evaluation of gastrointestinal health and cancer screening. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC):

    • Purpose: Provides a broad picture of overall blood health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To detect signs of anemia, which can result from chronic blood loss, and to assess general health.
  2. C-Reactive Protein (CRP) or Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR):

    • Purpose: Non-specific markers of inflammation in the body.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess for the presence of inflammation, which can be associated with certain gastrointestinal conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
  3. Liver Function Test:

    • Purpose: To assess liver health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Liver diseases can affect overall digestion and the health of the gastrointestinal tract.
  4. Carbohydrate Antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9):

    • Purpose: A tumor marker that can be elevated in pancreatic and gastrointestinal cancers.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assist in the diagnosis and monitoring of certain types of gastrointestinal cancers, particularly in conjunction with other diagnostic tests.
  5. Calprotectin or Lactoferrin Stool Tests:

    • Purpose: To detect inflammation in the intestines.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To help diagnose or monitor inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

These tests, when ordered alongside a Fecal Globin by Immunochemistry test, provide a comprehensive view of an individual’s gastrointestinal health. They are critical for diagnosing the cause of occult blood in the stool, assessing the risk of colorectal cancer, and managing other gastrointestinal conditions. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual's symptoms, medical history, and the results of the initial screening.

Conditions where a Fecal Globin test is recommended:

A Fecal Immunochemical Test may be required in the following conditions or situations:

  1. Colorectal Cancer Screening: FIT is commonly used as a screening tool for colorectal cancer in individuals who are at average risk and of appropriate age for screening.

  2. Gastrointestinal Bleeding: When an individual presents with unexplained gastrointestinal bleeding, changes in bowel habits, or persistent abdominal pain, a Fecal Immunochemical Test can help identify the presence of blood in the stool and determine if further evaluation is necessary.

How does my health care provider use a Fecal Globin test?

Healthcare providers use the results of a Fecal Immunochemical Test in the following ways:

  1. Screening Interpretation: A negative FIT result indicates a low likelihood of significant gastrointestinal bleeding and suggests a lower risk of colorectal cancer. However, it does not rule out other potential causes of symptoms, and repeat screening is typically recommended at regular intervals.

  2. Positive Result Follow-up: A positive FIT result indicates the presence of blood in the stool. It is important to note that a positive result does not automatically indicate the presence of colorectal cancer. Further evaluation, such as a colonoscopy, is usually recommended to identify the source of bleeding and determine the underlying cause.

  3. Monitoring and Surveillance: FIT may be repeated periodically for individuals who have a history of polyps or colorectal cancer to monitor for recurrence or progression. Regular screening and surveillance are essential for early detection and better outcomes.

The results of a Fecal Immunochemical Test are used as a preliminary screening tool to identify individuals who may require further diagnostic evaluation, such as colonoscopy, to determine the underlying cause of gastrointestinal bleeding or to screen for colorectal cancer. It is important to discuss the results with a healthcare provider for proper interpretation and guidance on further management.

What do my Fecal Occult Blood test results mean?

Normally, the fecal occult blood test is negative.

A positive test result for the guaiac-based FOBT shows that abnormal bleeding is occurring anywhere in the digestive tract. Ulcers, diverticulosis, polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, hemorrhoids, blood eaten owing to bleeding gums or nosebleeds, or benign or malignant tumors could all cause blood loss.

A positive result for the fecal immunochemical test shows abnormal bleeding in the lower digestive tract. Other sources of blood, such as those found in the diet, do not generate a positive result since this test only identifies human hemoglobin. Furthermore, hemoglobin from upper digestive tract hemorrhage is broken down before reaching the lower digestive tract and is undetectable by the FIT. As a result, the FIT is a more precise test than the gFOBT.

Follow-up testing is required after a positive result from either the guaiac-based FOBT or the immunochemical FIT. Direct imaging of the colon and rectum is generally used.

Most Common Questions About the Fecal Immunochemical test:

Understanding the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)

What is the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)?

The Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is a screening test for colon cancer. It detects tiny amounts of blood in the stool, which can be a sign of cancer or large polyps that might turn into cancer.

Why is the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) ordered?

The FIT is often ordered as part of routine screening for colorectal cancer, especially in individuals aged 50 and above. It may also be recommended for individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps.

Interpreting FIT Results

What does a positive Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) mean?

A positive FIT result indicates that blood was detected in the stool sample. This does not necessarily mean that cancer is present, but further testing, such as a colonoscopy, is required to determine the cause.

What does a negative Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) result mean?

A negative FIT result means that no blood was detected in the stool sample at the time of the test. However, because cancers and polyps do not always bleed, it's important to repeat the test annually.

Can certain factors affect the accuracy of the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)?

Yes, certain conditions like hemorrhoids or anal fissures can cause small amounts of bleeding and potentially result in a positive test. Also, because cancers and polyps do not always bleed, a negative test does not rule out their presence.

FIT and Specific Conditions

Can the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) detect all cases of colon cancer?

No, the FIT can't detect all cases of colon cancer because not all cancers or polyps bleed. Also, the FIT only detects human blood from the lower intestines, so it may not detect cancers from other parts of the body.

Can the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) detect conditions other than colon cancer?

While the primary purpose of FIT is to detect colon cancer, it might pick up bleeding from other conditions in the lower digestive tract, such as diverticulosis or hemorrhoids. However, it is not specifically designed to diagnose these conditions.

How does the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) compare to the Guaiac-based Fecal Occult Blood Test (gFOBT)?

Both tests are designed to detect blood in the stool, but they work differently. FIT is more specific as it only detects human blood from the lower intestines, whereas gFOBT can detect blood from any part of the digestive tract and may give positive results due to certain foods or medications.

General Queries about the Test

Why is the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) used as a screening tool for colon cancer?

The FIT is used as a screening tool because it's a non-invasive, simple, and cost-effective way to detect blood in the stool, which can be a sign of colon cancer or large polyps.

Is the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) a confirmatory test for colon cancer?

No, the FIT is not a confirmatory test. A positive result indicates the need for further investigation, typically a colonoscopy, to determine the cause of the bleeding.

Can a person have colon cancer even if their Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is negative?

Yes, it's possible because cancers and polyps don't always bleed, and the FIT only detects blood. It's important to have regular screenings and to discuss any changes in bowel habits or other symptoms with your doctor.

How often should the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) be done for routine screening?

For those at average risk, it's generally recommended to have the FIT annually, starting at age 50. However, the frequency may be different depending on individual risk factors.

Can the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) predict the likelihood of developing colon cancer?

The FIT is not a predictive test; it's a screening tool. It does not predict the likelihood of developing colon cancer but detects blood in the stool which can be a sign of existing cancer or polyps.

Can the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) replace colonoscopy for colon cancer screening?

No, the FIT cannot replace a colonoscopy. If the FIT is positive, a colonoscopy is typically performed to find the source of bleeding. Even with a negative FIT, a colonoscopy may still be recommended based on age and other risk factors.

Can the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) be used in individuals younger than 50?

While routine screening for colon cancer typically begins at age 50 for those at average risk, the FIT might be used in younger individuals if they have certain risk factors, such as a strong family history of colorectal cancer or certain genetic disorders.

Can the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) be used to monitor individuals with a history of colon cancer or polyps?

The FIT might be used to monitor these individuals, but colonoscopy is generally the preferred method because it allows direct visualization of the colon and removal of any new polyps.

Why might an individual need to repeat the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)?

If the results of the FIT are unclear or inconsistent, a repeat test might be necessary. Also, because cancers and polyps don't always bleed, it's recommended to repeat the test annually for routine screening.

Does the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) help in determining the severity of colon cancer?

No, the FIT does not provide information about the severity or stage of colon cancer. It's a screening tool that can indicate the presence of blood in the stool. If the test is positive, further testing, such as a colonoscopy and possibly biopsy, would be needed to assess the severity or stage of the disease.

Can medications or food affect the result of the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)?

No, unlike the guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT), the result of the FIT is not affected by medications or the diet of the individual.

Is the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) useful in detecting other types of cancer?

The FIT is primarily used to detect blood in the stool, a possible sign of colon cancer. While it might pick up bleeding from other cancers in the digestive tract, it's not designed to detect other types of cancer.

Why should a person without symptoms undergo a Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)?

The FIT is a screening tool for colorectal cancer, meaning it's designed to detect potential signs of cancer before symptoms appear. Detecting cancer at an early stage, when it's more treatable, can significantly improve outcomes.

Does a Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) involve the collection of multiple stool samples?

Yes, the FIT typically involves the collection of samples from two or three bowel movements. This increases the chance of detecting blood, as polyps and cancers do not always bleed consistently.

Are there any risk factors that can increase the chances of a positive Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)?

Yes, certain risk factors can increase the likelihood of a positive FIT, such as older age, a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, certain genetic disorders, a diet high in red or processed meats, smoking, heavy alcohol use, lack of regular physical activity, overweight or obesity, and certain types of inflammatory bowel disease.

How does the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) work to detect blood in the stool?

The FIT works by using antibodies to detect the presence of a part of the human hemoglobin molecule (a component of blood) in the stool.

Is the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) an effective screening tool for colorectal cancer?

Yes, numerous studies have shown that the FIT is an effective screening tool for colorectal cancer. It's non-invasive, easy to use, and does not require dietary restrictions or medication adjustments.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: Fecal Globin by Immunochemistry InSure, FOBT, InSure®, Occult Blood, Stool Blood, Stool Hemoglobin

Fecal Globin Result:

Screen for lower gastrointestinal bleeding associated with colorectal cancer, adenomas, polyps, and other lower gastrointestinal conditions
*Process times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. The lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

Customer Reviews