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5 Quick Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) Tips from Cancer Care Ontario
Message from Cancer Care Ontario:
Since FIT launched on June 24, 2019, over 500,000 FIT kits have been distributed to patients in Ontario! LifeLabs is receiving 4500-6000 program requisitions per day, and approximately 3000-4000 kits are distributed each day by LifeLabs.
To continue to support you and your patients in screening with FIT, we have prepared 5 quick FIT tips to address some early learnings.
1. Make sure that your patient is eligible for FIT screening. LifeLabs has been receiving requisitions for patients who are not age eligible for colon cancer screening with FIT. People ages 50 to 74 who do not have a family history or a first-degree relative are eligible for screening with FIT. While the ColonCancerCheck program is designed for patients ages 50 to 74, LifeLabs will accept, at your discretion, requisitions for patients age 49 and ages 75 to 85.
2. Talk to your patients about timely FIT kit return. If you choose to batch fax FIT requisitions, please contact your patients to confirm their mailing address, and notify them that they should be receiving a FIT kit in the mail, and that they need to complete and return the FIT kit promptly. As a reminder, FIT requisitions expire after six months. If you batch faxed FIT requisitions around the time of FIT launch, please call or send a reminder to your patients to complete and return their FIT kits.
3. Remind your patients to close the FIT tube securely! A key reason for rejected kits to date is leaking FIT tubes. Remind your patients to close the FIT tube securely after completing the test so that they do not need to repeat the test.
4. Remind your patients to put the right amount of stool on the FIT stick. Kits have been rejected due to FIT tubes overflowing with stool. LifeLabs cannot analyze FIT devices with too much or too little stool. Please remind your patients that the stool should cover all of the grooves at the end of the stick, but that the stool should not go past the grooves on the stick. This will prevent your patients from having to repeat the test.
5. Instruct your patients to write the sample date on the FIT tube. LifeLabs has been receiving FIT tubes with missing collection dates. While LifeLabs will call your patient to try to ascertain the collection date, many people do not remember the exact date. If LifeLabs is unable to confirm a collection date with your patient, the FIT result will be invalid and your patient will need to repeat their test.
We hope that these 5 quick FIT tips help your patients successfully screen with FIT!
• For more information on screening with FIT, visit the primary care provider guidelines and advise webpage at cancercareontario.ca/CCCrecommendations.
• Frequently asked questions and information on the FIT instructions can be found at cancercareontario.ca/FITinstructions.
If you have any FIT related questions, please contact Cancer Care Ontario at 1.866.662.9233 from Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or email screenforlife@cancercare.on.ca
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