Fecal Immunochemical Test: The World's Colorectal Cancer Screening Test

Gastrointest Endosc Clin N Am. 2020 Jul;30(3):511-526. doi: 10.1016/j.giec.2020.02.011. Epub 2020 Apr 15.


The fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is a tool used for colorectal cancer screening and its use is growing rapidly. FIT, applied as a qualitative or quantitative test, has far better sensitivity for hemoglobin than older, guaiac fecal occult blood tests. This translates into several advantages of FIT, including ability to screen using only 1 stool sample per cycle. This article reviews current understanding of FIT performance as a 1-time test and when applied programmatically. It outlines how to apply the test at the patient level and track performance at the program level. Future prospects for FIT application are highlighted.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer; Fecal immunochemical test; Fecal occult blood test; Screening.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Early Detection of Cancer* / methods
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Immunochemistry / methods
  • Internationality
  • Mass Screening
  • Occult Blood*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Hemoglobins