Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT):
This is a stool test that you can do in privacy of your own home. It tests for microscopic blood in your bowel movement (blood you cannot even see with your eyes). If there is an early cancer in your colon, it may be shedding off tiny amounts of blood, and this test can help detect it and prompt further investigation (by getting a colonoscopy). This is a quick, easy, and painless test.
There are some problems with this FIT test, though. It is not as accurate as a colonoscopy. It can miss about 20% of early colon cancers. However, if you do the test every two years, the accuracy is better and it picks up most most of the early cancers. The FIT is also not as good at picking up the polyps (the early growths that turn into colon cancers). Unfortunately, the FIT test can miss many of the early polyps.
Another problem with the FIT is that it cannot distinguish the source of the bleeding. For example, a bleeding hemorrhoid or even a bleeding stomach ulcer can cause the test to come back positive for blood.
For detailed information about the FIT test, check out this website.
The following video demonstrates how to do the FIT test at home: