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FOBT Test

Also known as Occult Blood Microscopy Stool
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What is this test?

Stool for Occult Blood - Microscopy Test is used to determine whether hidden (occult) blood is present in human feces or stool. The presence of occult blood cannot be identified with the naked eye. Presence of occult blood in the stool can be due to bleeding in the digestive tract. Variety of conditions that can cause bleeding in the digestive tract are ulcers, hemorrhoids, colitis, diverticulosis, etc. Blood in the stool may also be due to colon cancer or polyps in the colon or rectum.

Why this test is performed?

This test is considered an early screening test for colorectal cancer. Your doctor may advise you to perform this test annually if you are aged 50 and above or if you have a family history of colorectal cancer due to high risk. This test is one among many tests to confirm colorectal cancer. Your doctor may also ask you to perform this test to screen conditions that cause bleeding in the digestive tract such as ulcers, hemorrhoids etc.

Also known as Occult Stool Test, Fecal Occult Test, Occult Test.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your FOBT Test. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for FOBT Test.

Your doctor may ask to avoid the use of certain medicines such as colchicine and oxidizing drugs (like iodine and boric acid), ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin for seven days prior to your test. If you are taking aspirin for heart disease talk with your doctor before stopping the use. You may also be asked to avoid taking foods such as red meat, broccoli, turnips, cauliflower, apples, oranges, mushrooms, and horseradish. Vitamin C supplements and fruit juices that contain vitamin C also should be avoided seven days prior to your test. All these medications and foods can give false positive results.

Understanding your test results

If the test results are positive it indicates that you may have abnormal bleeding somewhere in the digestive tract. The conditions that may cause bleeding in the digestive tract are ulcers, hemorrhoids, colitis, diverticulosis, etc. The positive test result does not clearly confirm that you have colorectal cancer. Your doctor may ask you to perform a few more additional tests such as colonoscopy to locate the source of the bleeding. Based on the test results, your doctor may advise appropriate medical treatments, lifestyle modifications, or further diagnostic tests.

If the test results are negative it indicates that no blood is detected in the stool sample. If this test is performed in individuals aged 50 and above as part of a screening test for colon cancer then you are at average risk. However, your doctor may ask you to perform this test every year if you are aged 50 and above.

GenderAge groupsValue
UNISEXAll age groupsNormally, blood is absent in stool. Blood is detected in positive cases
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