Response to announcement of FIT test launch, Judith Brodie, Interim Chief Executive, Beating Bowel Cancer.
Beating Bowel Cancer is delighted to see progress in bringing in the new Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) test. The test has been launched in Scotland following a successful pilot, announced this week alongside plans to introduce FIT tests widely in 2018. The UK National Screening Committee has recommended that the test is rolled out nationally after the pilot involving 40,000 people.
The new simplified bowel screening test requires collecting one stool sample compared to samples from three separate bowel movements, as required by the current FOB (faecal occult blood) test. It’s a better quality test and is easier to use, so more people do it.
This follows the NICE recommendation that FIT should be used in primary care to guide referral for suspected colorectal cancer in those with unexplained symptoms 
Commenting on the announcement, Judith Brodie, interim chief executive at Beating Bowel Cancer, said: “The introduction of FIT tests will play a big part in increasing bowel cancer screening and early diagnosis. We welcome the roll out of these tests which can save lives by detecting bowel cancer at an early stage.
“It is imperative that FIT tests are used at high sensitivity, to maximise their effectiveness in the early detection of bowel cancer.
“While the test is being offered every two years to all men and women in Scotland aged between 50 and 74, we are campaigning for screening to begin at 50 across the United Kingdom in line with good practice internationally. Bowel screening starts at 60 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.”