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Bowel Screening Products

Faecal Testing Choice

Alpha Laboratories has a long history of supplying the four UK Bowel Screening Programmes with gFOBT and FIT tests.


Bowel Cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK after lung cancer. Around 35,000 people are diagnosed every year, and of these only 50% will currently survive.

Recent studies suggest that over 90% of bowel cancer patients would survive if they were identified and treated in the early stages of the disease. In the UK a national screening program has been implemented to do just that. Many cancers start as small growths on the lining of the gut called “Polyps”. The formation of these polyps becomes more common as we get older, and not all polyps will develop into cancerous growths. Patients who have developed polyps can be identified as these tend to bleed into the gut and this blood can be found in the faeces. The polyps, if potentially cancerous, can easily be removed during a colonoscopy.

Guaiac-based Faecal Occult Blood Testing (FOBT) kits have traditionally been used in the national screening program in England, Scotland and Wales. The kits work by identifying blood that may be present in the faeces of patients in the early stages of the disease. A positive test will result in a visit to the colonoscopy unit, where the cause of the bleeding can be identified.

Alpha Laboratories has a range of FOBT products to choose from depending on the clinical situation, whether that is screening the asymptomatic population or for use in confirming symptomatic patients have demonstrable bleeding. 

It is now widely recognised that Quantitative Faecal Immunochemical Testing (qFIT) provides greater sensitivity and specificity for identifying haemoglobin in faeces.

Advancing bowel cancer screening and symptomatic assessments, the new HM-JACKarc Quantitative Faecal Immunochemical Test system brings FIT testing within a convenient automated platform.


  • Bowel cancer screening can detect bowel cancer at its earliest stage, when there is a 90% (9 in 10) chance of curing it.
  • With regular screening, 16% (1 in 6) fewer people die from bowel cancer.
  • Removing polyps which are discovered through screening can reduce the chances of developing bowel cancer.
  • There is now also evidence that quantitative testing for faecal haemoglobin (FIT) can be used as a diagnostic method for triaging patients presenting with abdominal symptoms
  • FIT could be used as a rule in/rule out disease indicator to help better manage colonoscopy services

  • 01 - Focus on FIT Brochure 2018

    • PDF size: 10.79KB
    • Updated on: 04/07/2018

    This ‘Focus on FIT’ publication summarises some recent progress and current thinking on the application of FIT for symptomatic patients, following the publication of NICE Diagnostic Guidance DG30.

    Open File
  • 01a - Focus on FIT Brochure 2017

    • PDF size: 11.25KB
    • Updated on: 04/07/2018

    A series on articles and case studies on Faecal Immunochemical Testing in Colorectal Cancer Pathways

    Open File
  • Diagnostics for Digestive Health Management

    • PDF size: 10.06MB
    • Updated on: 07/12/2018

    Open File
  • FIT for All - Screening and Symptomatic Testing for Bowel Cancer - A Single Solution

    • PDF size: 9.39KB
    • Updated on: 04/07/2018

    Quantitative Faecal Immunochemical Testing for Haemoglobin with Flexible Cut-off Results

    Open File

Diagnostics Kits - Information for the Public

Alpha Laboratories is a supplier of diagnostic kits for use by professional medical personnel within a clinical laboratory or doctors surgery. They are sold only to professionals for use in medical diagnostic or screening programmes. They are not available to the general public for home testing.

Whilst some of the sample collection may be carried out at home, the performance of the tests and analysis of results must be done by professionals in a clinical environment. This is to ensure correct procedures are followed, avoid potential interference from procedural or clinical conditions and certify accurate interpretation of results. As such these tests are not validated for use by non professionals.

For any concerns you may have please consult with your GP who should be able to advise you.

Alternatively the following websites may provide additional help:

NHS Bowel Cancer Screening:

Bowel Cancer UK:

Lab Tests Online:

The IBS Network:

Crohn's and Colitis UK:

Crohn's Support:

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