Curejoy Expert Dipti Mothay Explains:
The stool tests, called fecal immunochemical tests (FITs), are done at home. Stool testing works for finding colon cancer early, when it may be most treatable. It looks for invisible blood in the stool, which can be a sign of cancer.
Researchers found that across 19 studies, FITs caught more than three-quarters of colon tumors, and were very good at ruling out the cancer.
Getting the Test Kit
Home stool test kits are generally handed out at the doctor’s office or community clinic.
After you receive your kit, read the instructions carefully and call your doctor’s office if you have questions. It’s important to follow the directions because certain foods and medications can confuse the test results.
What Should You Look Out For?
Color of your stool
If the color of your faeces cannot be attributed to food or food colorings you recently consumed, then the color of your stool (Red, Green, Yellow, White or Black) may be indicative of different underlying medical problems.
Shape, smell, consistency and buoyancy of your stool:
– Pencil-thin stool shape can signal an obstruction in the lower part of the bowels.
– Small and hard stool: This could be a sign of constipation.
– Overly soft stool, clinging to the toilet bowl: If your body isn’t absorbing oils properly, this can result in such faecal behavior, plus you might observe oil droplets floating in the toilet.
– Mucus in stool: Mucus is a normal compound in stool. But if you notice a lot of it, it could be a sign of inflammation, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
– Foul smell has to do with the type of food you’ve been eating and the length of time that passed since your last defecation. The foul smell can also be brought on by certain medications, or be a symptom of inflammation.