Many health professionals advise patients aged fifty and above to use a bowel test kit every two years. That is due to the high prevalence of colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third most prevalent cancer in males and the second in females. This increased occurrence can be partially laid at the feet of lifestyle choices.
Increased intake of alcoholic drinks and processed meat, coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, heighten the risk of colorectal cancer. Physical exercise and some healthy foods like whole grains have been proven to reduce its risk. Constant vigilance is necessary to detect these cancerous growths before they become too difficult to control. That is where the bowel test kit comes in.
What are they?
A bowel test kit is usually given to a patient when screening for colorectal cancer. This test aims to detect traces of blood in your stool sample, which could mean bleeding from your intestinal walls. It can also be called a fecal occult blood test kit.
A positive result could be indicative of early colorectal cancer. It could also indicate other ailments like ulcers, hemorrhoids, and polyps. A bowel test kit and a colonoscopy are the two methods of detecting colorectal cancer. However, fecal occult blood tests are preferred due to their less invasive nature. Physicians usually recommend a colonoscopy only after a screening has been done.
Types Of Bowel Test Kits.
Your bowels can be screened using two methods. These techniques require two different setups to collect the stool samples.
- Guaiac Smear Test
- Fecal Immunochemical Test
These kits have different methods of stool sample collection. Don’t worry; we’ll walk you through them.
How To Use a Bowel Test Kit.
The steps for stool sample collection in these different setups are unique to each. The one given to you would likely have instructions on collecting the samples. But extra help has never hurt.
- Guaiac Smear Test.
A guaiac smear test requires samples from three bowel movements. You’d have to collect each of these in a separate stool container. Ensure the stool doesn’t mix with urine or water from the toilet.
There would be an applicator in your kit. It would be best to use it to smear some of the stool samples onto the test card provided. Label and seal the samples carefully. Then, mail them to your healthcare provider.
- Fecal Immunochemical Test.
Two or three samples would be sufficient for this test. Collect the sample carefully, using the device included in your bowel test kit. Apply some of the samples onto the test card. Label and seal them after that. Then, mail them to your lab or healthcare provider. Remember, your kit may have a different procedure, so make sure to read the instructions carefully.
Colorectal cancer is easiest to treat in its early stages. These tests been successfully used to detect early colorectal cancer in many patients. That increases their chances of survival tremendously. They’re effortless to use and not a significant inconvenience. If you’re aged fifty and above, you should probably apply for a bowel test kit.