American Cancer Society has lowered the recommended screening age for colorectal cancer to age 45

FOBT/FIT for Early detection of Colorectal Cancer

Early detection saves lives


Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Early detection of colorectal cancer saves lives when a program tests the largest number of at-risk people. The goals of colorectal cancer screening are:

  1. Early diagnosis of cancer in the preclinical state
  2. Down-staging of tumors
  3. Increasing survival

The greatest risk factor of colorectal cancer is the failure to be screened. Success in preventing colorectal cancer depends greatly on early testing of the largest number of at-risk people. For a long time, medical experts were convinced that colonoscopy was the gold standard for testing colorectal cancer. Studies have shown that, rather than undertake periodical office-based screenings, it is more effective to shift to a population-based strategy.

The National Institutes of Health State of the Science Conference on Colorectal Screening endorsed FOBT/FIT (fecal immunochemical test) testing as the primary outreach for early detection. Following this, the Kaiser Permanente North- West (KPNW) Center for Health Research commenced an aggressive outreach campaign with FOBT and FIT.

To reach the patients, an interactive voice recognition phone outreach was introduced along with colorectal cancer mailings, birthday letters, and annual FIT testing reminders. The electronic medical record called Health Connect provided clinicians with a gap analysis for each patient at every clinical contact, using the Panel Support Tool. The prevention mission was enhanced with this combination of inreach and outreach activities increased the number of FOBT and FIT tests submitted. Subsequently, the percentage of screen-detected patients exceeded expectations, with a 6-fold increase (from 5% to 33%) since the inception of FOBT/FIT in the program.

Early detection of colon cancer saves more lives when a program tests the largest number of at-risk people. Therefore, a strategy that involves population-based screening is more successful than one that focuses on individual testing.

Polymedco CDP, LLC

Polymedco CDP, LLC is the leading manufacturer and distributor of clinical laboratory supplies. Since 1980, we have served medical professionals by providing patients comprehensive health care services. To get a colorectal cancer screening test, call 888-638-7757 or email at

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