Welcome to the FIT for Follow-Up study website!

The information on this website is intended for people who took part in the FIT for Follow-Up study. The aim of the study was to establish whether Faecal Immunochemical Testing (FIT) could be an effective alternative to colonoscopy surveillance for finding large polyps in the bowel.

About the FIT for Follow-Up study

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme recommends that people who have a large polyp, or a few small polyps, removed at their first colonoscopy should come back in three years for a ‘rescope’ – another colonoscopy to check for any further polyps that may have grown in the large bowel.

If you were living in England, had a colonoscopy through the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, and were advised that you should return for a second colonoscopy in three years’ time, you may have been invited to take part in the FIT for Follow-Up study.

People who agreed to participate in the FIT for Follow-Up study were asked to complete a Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) once a year for three years.

If the FIT test taken in years 1 or 2 found traces of blood, participants were invited to attend an early colonoscopy at their usual bowel screening centre. At the end of year 3, everyone was invited to attend the follow-up colonoscopy recommended by the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme.

A total of 8009 people were invited to participate in the study. 5953 (73%) of those people returned a signed consent form and the FIT kit, and were later told the results of their first round of FIT testing.

A year later 5494 participants were sent a second FIT kit. 5296 (96%) of people completed their second FIT, and kindly returned this to us for laboratory processing.

For the third round of FIT testing, 5256 people were sent their third and final FIT kit, and 5057 (96.2%) of people returned a completed test to us. Alongside these FIT tests you have also been kind enough to fill in patient experience questionnaires, which helped us improve the FIT kit instructions, and health and lifestyle questionnaires, that told us more about the study participants so we could better understand the FIT kit results.

Aim and results of FIT for Follow-Up study

The aim of the FIT for Follow-Up study was to find out whether FIT testing is accurate enough to replace colonoscopy surveillance.

Overall, the study demonstrated that annual FIT could identify 59 of every 100 cancers and 34 of every 100 patients with advanced adenomas if repeated over three years. To our knowledge, this study is the only one to have evaluated FIT for monitoring people who have previously had a large polyp, or a few small polyps, removed at colonoscopy.

The results of the FIT for Follow-Up study were published on the NHS National Institute for Health Research website and in the journal GUT in 2018. The results were also presented to an audience of clinicians, gastroenterologists and research scientists at the British Society of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting in Liverpool, UK in June 2018.

See also the Study Results page.


This study was funded by the Health Technology Assessment(HTA) Programme, part of the NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

It was run jointly by the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Southern Programme Hub, Imperial College and University College London. Imperial College is the sponsor of the study.