Fecal Occult Blood Test
The Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) is a lab test used to check stool samples for hidden (occult) blood. Occult blood in the stool may indicate colon cancer, polyps in the colon or rectum, hemorrhoids, or other digestive conditions. The test can identify tiny traces of blood that are not visible to the naked eye.
Indications of the Test
The test is commonly used as a screening tool to detect colorectal cancer before symptoms appear. It may also be used to investigate other conditions such as anemia, bleeding in the digestive tract, and to differentiate between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Patients are usually provided with a kit to collect stool samples at home. The kit includes instructions on how to collect the samples. For example, you may need to collect a stool sample from each of two or three bowel movements in a clean container, usually taken on consecutive days, and then use an applicator stick to apply a smear of stool to a specific area of a card. It’s important to follow the instructions carefully to ensure accurate results.
Typical Reference Values
- Negative result: No blood detected in the stool samples. For individuals at average risk of colon cancer, the test may be recommended to be repeated yearly.
- Positive result: Blood detected in the stool samples. Additional testing, such as a colonoscopy, may be needed to determine the source of the bleeding.
The time it takes to receive the test results may vary, but patients are advised to follow up with their healthcare provider if they haven’t received the results within two weeks of submitting the sample.
Order This Test
You can order the Fecal Occult Blood Test by clicking the “Order Test” button and adding it to your cart. Once the test is ordered, you will be provided with the necessary instructions and materials to collect the stool sample at home.