Colorectal Cancer – Recognizing the Signs and Early Detection with the iFOBT Test


Colorectal cancer affects both the colon and rectum. Globally, it is the third most common cancer, with alarmingly high mortality rates if detected late. Early detection is crucial for successful treatment and improved outcomes. While symptoms might not be apparent in the early stages, understanding the warning signs and utilizing tools like the immunochemical Fecal Occult Blood Test (iFOBT) are essential for timely diagnosis and potential lifesaving intervention.

Common Signs and Symptoms:

  • Changes in bowel habits: Persistent diarrhea, constipation, or alternating between the two can be red flags. Additionally, a feeling of incomplete bowel evacuation after passing stool should be investigated.
  • Blood in the stool: Bright red or dark blood in stool, visible or detected through the iFOBT, indicates potential bleeding within the colon or rectum.
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort: Persistent cramps, gas pains, bloating, or a feeling of fullness in the abdomen can be signs of a growing tumor blocking the passage of stool.
  • Unexplained weight loss: Significant weight loss without trying can be a symptom of advanced colorectal cancer.
  • Fatigue and weakness: Unexplained fatigue and weakness can be caused by anemia, a condition sometimes associated with colorectal cancer due to blood loss.

Importance of Early Detection:

Early detection of colorectal cancer significantly improves treatment outcomes and survival rates. When diagnosed early, the five-year survival rate is over 90%, but it drops to less than 10% for advanced stages.

The iFOBT Test:

The iFOBT test is a non-invasive, home-based screening tool that detects hidden blood in stool, an early indicator of colorectal cancer. It involves collecting a small stool sample on a special card and sending it to a lab for analysis. Although not diagnostic, a positive iFOBT result warrants further investigation through colonoscopy. You can check for the iFOBT test kit. The platform also supplies laboratory analyzers & reagents, and point-of-care diagnostic devices. 

Why Choose the iFOBT Test?

  • Accessibility: The iFOBT test is readily available, affordable, and requires no special preparation or dietary restrictions.
  • Convenience: The test can be done at home, offering privacy and flexibility.
  • Early detection: Detecting blood in stool early can lead to prompt diagnosis and treatment, improving the chances of successful outcomes.

Besides iFOBT, your doctor can recommend a Colonoscopy, CT colonography, Barium enema, or Sigmoidoscopy. These are early detection tests essential for colorectal cancer screening.

Who Should Get Tested?

The American Cancer Society recommends regular colorectal cancer screening for adults starting at age 45. However, individuals with a family history of the disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or certain genetic syndromes may need to start screening earlier or more frequently. Consulting a healthcare professional is crucial to determining the appropriate screening schedule based on individual risk factors.


Colorectal cancer poses a significant health threat, but early detection significantly improves the chances of successful treatment. Recognizing the signs and symptoms and utilizing tools like the iFOBT test empowers you to take charge of your health and potentially save lives. Remember, early detection is crucial, so don’t hesitate to discuss any concerns with your doctor and schedule regular screenings as recommended.