What you need to know before doing a FOBT or FIT stool test to screen for colon cancer

Instructions for FOBT

Getting ready

info icon Important
● Send your test card within 10 days of collecting your first stool sample.
● Do not let the stool sample touch the water in the toilet bowl.

Three days BEFORE you start collecting stool samples, do not take vitamin C supplements and do not eat or drink citrus fruit and juices.

  • You will collect two stool samples from a bowel movement on three different days. The test card has three flaps – one for each bowel movement you need to collect. Open one flap each time you collect a sample.
  • Print your name and date of birth on the test card.

Taking the samples

SAMPLE 1

info icon *Tip
You can collect the stool sample either in
● a clean disposable plastic container (such as a cleaned margarine or ice cream tub) OR
● your hand covered in a plastic bag OR
● some folded toilet paper in your hand or on the surface of the water

  1. Flush the toilet to clear the bowl.
  2. Enter the date and time on the first flap.
  3. Peel back the flap.
  4. Deposit stool in a clean disposable container or on top of several layers of toilet paper.* (Don’t let the stool sample touch the water in the toilet bowl.)
  5. Use the cardboard stick in the test kit to collect a small piece of stool. Spread it in a very thin smear over the first window under the flap.
  6. Collect a second sample from a different part of the stool. Smear this sample over the second window under the same flap.
  7. Close the flap.
  8. Throw the stick(s) in the trash and wash your hands.
  9. Flush the rest of the stool in the toilet.
  10. Put the test card in the kit envelope.
  11. 11. Store the sample at room temperature until the next stool collection.

SAMPLE 2

Repeat steps 1 to 11 above using the second flap.

SAMPLE 3

Repeat steps 1 to 10 above using the third flap.

  1. Put the test card in the foil envelope and seal the envelope tightly.
  2. Put the foil envelope and the completed form in the postage-paid envelope.
  3. Mail it or drop it off at a community laboratory collection centre.

Instructions for FIT

FIT with card
FIT with bottle

Getting ready

 Important
● Send your test card within 10 days of collecting your first stool sample.
● Do not freeze the sample.
● Do not let the sample touch water in the toilet bowl.

You will collect two stool samples from a bowel movement on two different days.

  • The test kit includes 2 collection cards or bottles, one for each day.
  • Print your name on each card or bottle. (Or, if your name is already on the pre-printed label, check that it is spelled correctly.)

Taking the samples

SAMPLE 1

  1. Flush the toilet to clear the bowl.
  2. Enter the date on the card or bottle.
  3. Unfold the tissue paper and place it on top of the water in the toilet bowl.
  4. Deposit stool on top of the tissue paper.
  5. Open the card or take the cap off the bottle.
  6. Scrape the stool using the stick attached to the cap. Spread the sample until the grooved part is covered with stool.
  7. Put the stick back in the bottle and snap shut. Do not reopen.
  8. Wash your hands.
  9. Store the sample in the refrigerator (NOT the freezer).

SAMPLE 2

Repeat steps 1 to 8 above to provide all the samples needed to complete your kit.

  1. Wrap the bottles with the absorbent paper from the collection kit.
  2. Put them in the bag provided in the kit and seal tightly.
  3. Put the bag and the completed form in the envelope.
  4. Drop it off at a community laboratory collection centre or Canada Post mailbox.
Last updated: March 16, 2017