Your Options For Colorectal Cancer Screening

In the domain of preventative health care, colorectal cancer screening stands at the top. However, there are multiple options available, making choosing the correct one challenging. To this end, this guide will explain the available colorectal cancer screening alternatives.

Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)

This non-invasive test is a common initial screening approach. A FIT kit is used to collect a small stool sample at home. The kit is then sent to a lab, where it's analyzed for hidden blood, a potential sign of colorectal cancer, or large polyps. This method is simple, comfortable, and can be done in the privacy of your own home. However, it's important to understand that a positive FIT result doesn't necessarily mean cancer is present; it only indicates that further investigation is needed.

Guaiac-Based Fecal Occult Blood Test (gFOBT)

The gFOBT is another non-invasive home test that detects blood in the stool. This test uses a chemical reaction to identify the presence of blood, which can indicate potential issues. Like the FIT, the gFOBT does not confirm the presence of cancer but signals that additional screening is needed.

Multi-Target Stool DNA Test (Cologuard)

This at-home test is a blend of the FIT and DNA screening. It examines stool samples for microscopic amounts of blood and also for specific DNA mutations that could be indicative of cancer or large polyps. This screening method provides extra insight beyond what the FIT or gFOBT can provide.

CT Colonography (Virtual Colonoscopy)

This non-invasive test uses a CT scan to produce images of the colon and rectum. It's a quick procedure and does not require sedation. A CT colonography can detect polyps and cancers, but if found, a traditional colonoscopy will still be needed to remove or biopsy them.


A colonoscopy is a more involved procedure that offers a comprehensive view of the entire colon and rectum using a small, flexible tube inserted into the rectum and moved throughout the colon. A colonoscopy procedure requires a bowel prep to cleanse the colon and uses sedation. This procedure allows for the detection and removal of polyps and the biopsy of abnormal areas during the same procedure, which makes it very popular.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, armed with this information, you now have a better understanding of the various colorectal cancer screening options available. Each method has its unique benefits, potential drawbacks, and individual appropriateness based on your specific situation and risk factors.