Am J Nurs. 2012 Oct;112(10):67-9.

Fecal immunochemical tests for colorectal cancer screening.

Jeanette M. Daly

Department of Family Medicine, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA.



New fecal occult blood tests have a higher sensitivity and specificity for detection of adenomas and cancer than guaiac-based tests.

Colorectal cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, with 52,857 deaths attributed to the cancer in 2008. However, colorectal cancer is largely preventable; if detected early, 76% to 90% of cases can be prevented or cured. Yet, only 63% of U.S. adults report being up to date with their colorectal cancer screening……


The fecal immunochemical test (FIT) may be effective as a method of screening for CRC and advanced adenomas, and that FIT may be more effective when compared with other screening tests, such as gFOBT. In particular, the HemeSelect, FlexSure OBT, and OC-Sensor Micro FITs have demonstrated improved diagnostic performance characteristics compared with the gFOBT. All included studies that compared participation rates of FIT with other screening tests demonstrated that FIT had higher completion rates than the other tests, including gFOBT. The type of FIT and associated costs, the appropriate hemoglobin cut-off to use, and the capacity for follow-up by colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy may contribute to deciding if FIT is an appropriate CRC screening tool.

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PMID: 23013704

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