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Occult Blood In Stool

Also known as: FOBT; Stool occult blood; Hemoccult; Guaiac smear test; gFOBT; Immunochemical FOBT; Immunoassay FOBT; iFOBT; FIT
Formal name: Occult Blood Test, Fecal

 

  • Why should I do it?

To screen for digestive tract bleeding, which may be an indicator of colon cancer

 

  • When should I do it?

Annually, beginning at age 50 as part of a routine examination to screen for colon cancer; as directed by your doctor based on family medical history

 

  • What Kind of Sample is Needed?

The American Cancer Society recommends that three stool samples should be collected over several days and prepared on an occult blood card in order to provide for the most effective screening.

 

  • Test Preparation Needed?

For the guiac-based FOBT (gFOBT), you will be instructed to avoid certain medications and follow certain dietary restrictions for several days before collecting the stool samples. For immunochemical FOBT, there are no dietary or drug restrictions.