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Cancer Keys

Rectal bleeding: Can I use a FIT?

Published: 17th April 2023
A roll of toilet paper with blood lies on the toilet, illustrating symptoms of rectal bleeding.

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Rectal bleeding is a symptom of colorectal cancer. It is important that this symptom is not attributed to haemorrhoids, or other causes, without further questioning to check for other symptoms and adequate examination.



A rectal examination is essential and blood on the examining finger needs further investigation. A FIT can be used in patients with rectal bleeding and should be used in the initial consultation. Patients should be advised to do the FIT when they haven’t bled or from an area of stool where there isn’t blood.

Remember: Refer patients with an anal ulceration or rectal or anorectal mass on an urgent pathway. There is no requirement for a FIT.

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