Check Your Pipes

Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of death for both men and woman in the U.S., but when found early through screening tests, can be removed before developing into cancers. Several tests can be used to screen for colorectal cancer and other digestive diseases. No matter what test you choose, the most important thing is to get screened. Here are two different types of tests available. Talk to your doctor about what options are best for you.

Test Type

Stool-based test

Visual (structural) exam


Fecal immunochemical test (FIT)



Checks the stool for signs of cancer.

Looks at the structure inside the colon and rectum for early signs of cancer,


  • Less invasive and easier to have done.
  • No direct risk to colon.
  • No bowel prep
  • Typically involves a test kit which can be done at home.
  • Can be done less often than stool-based tests.
  • Looks at the entire colon.
  • Can biopsy and remove polyps.
  • Helps find some other diseases.


  • Need to be done more often.
  • Can miss many polyps and some cancers.
  • Can have false-positive
  • Colonoscopy needed if abnormal.
  • Preparation before the test can be unpleasant and the test may be uncomfortable.
  • Usually requires sedation.
  • Small risk of bleeding, tears or infection.

Not getting screened as recommended is missing the chance to prevent colorectal cancer or find it early when treatment often leads to a cure.