Stool Tests

Stool Tests

 Why have a fecal test?

Screening – Look for cancer

Polyps and colorectal cancers can cause bleeding that ends up in the stool (poop). Stool-based tests can detect hidden blood in the stool.

 What are fecal tests?

There are three main types of fecal tests. They differ in the way that they check for the possible presence of colorectal cancer in stool samples. 

Frequently Asked Questions

To complete stool-based tests, you will need to obtain a kit from your healthcare provider who can discuss with you which one to use. If you are doing a gFOBT, you will be required to modify your diet prior to the test:

  • Avoid taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) 7 days before testing.
  • Avoid taking more than 250 mg of Vitamin C a day for 3-7 days before testing.
  • Avoid eating red meats for 3 days before testing.

All samples can be collected in the privacy of your own home. Different kits have different procedures, so you should follow the directions that come with the kit. Return the completed kit to your healthcare provider or mail the kit as directed.
  • gFOBT - Typically involves taking a sample from stool and transferring it to a test card or tube.
  • FIT – Typically involves taking a sample from stool and transferring it to a test card or tube.
  • FIT-DNA - Requires the collection of an entire bowel movement.

The sample will be tested in a lab and you will be notified of your results. 

Blood in the stool may be caused by cancer or other conditions such as ulcers or hemorrhoids. If the test result is positive, a colonoscopy will need to be done to verify the cause of the bleeding and investigate further.

You may wish to consider the following when purchasing an at-home stool test:

  • Results turnaround: Tests often provide results within days to weeks. People who are looking for faster test results may prefer to purchase a product with a shorter turnaround time.
  • Insurance: Many at-home test companies do not accept insurance. People may wish to consider whether it would be less expensive to purchase a test out of pocket or go through a doctor’s office and claim it on their insurance.
  • Accessibility: Most at-home tests are available through the manufacturer’s website. However, some tests, such as Cologuard, require people to either request a test through their doctor or attend a telemedicine appointment.
  • Price: At-home test prices vary but are often between $30 and $90

FIT Kits –
How to submit a sample

Here is a video and step-by-step instructions on how to complete the FIT kit sample.

OC Light S FIT Collection – Polymedco
Steps for completing FIT stool test

Learn more about stool test kits

Interested in Getting Screened for Colon Cancer?

Choosing the right colon cancer screening test doesn’t need to be complicated. We’re here to help you understand your options and make an informed decision.

Additional Resources

Next Steps

Obtain a stool test and learn what to do after your screening, depending on your results.

Success Stories

Read inspirational testimonies and advice from real colon cancer patients and survivors.


Browse these state and national resources to help you identify lower cost or free options for colorectal cancer screening in Nebraska.