The fecal occult blood (FOB) test is test used to check stool samples for hidden (occult) blood.
Occult blood in the stool may indicate colon cancer or polyps in the colon or rectum — though not all cancers or polyps bleed.
Typically, occult blood is passed in such small amounts that it can be detected only through the chemicals used in a fecal occult blood test. If you notice blood in your stool or in the toilet or if you experience abdominal pain or a change in your bowel habits, make an appointment with your doctor.
- The One-Step Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) is a diagnostic tool designed to detect hidden blood in the stool, which can be an indicator of various gastrointestinal conditions. It can identify tiny amounts of blood that may indicate gastrointestinal bleeding or other underlying conditions.
- Non-invasive testing: The FOBT is a non-invasive test that requires a small stool sample. It does not involve any invasive procedures or discomfort for the individual being tested.
- Quick results: The FOBT provides rapid results within a short period, usually within a few minutes. This allows for immediate assessment of the presence of occult blood in the stool.
- Easy to use: The test is designed for simplicity and convenience. It often comes with clear instructions for collecting a stool sample and performing the test, making it user-friendly.
- Early detection: The FOBT can help detect gastrointestinal bleeding at an early stage, even before visible symptoms or signs are present. Early detection allows for timely intervention and appropriate medical follow-up.
- Screening tool: The FOBT serves as a screening tool for various gastrointestinal conditions, including colorectal cancer, polyps, ulcers, diverticulitis, and inflammatory bowel disease. It can be used for routine screening or when there are symptoms or risk factors present.
- Follow-up diagnostic tool: A positive FOBT result does not provide a definitive diagnosis but indicates the need for further diagnostic tests. It is typically followed by additional evaluations, such as colonoscopy or other imaging tests, to determine the source and cause of the blood in the stool.
- Surveillance and monitoring: The FOBT can also be used for surveillance and monitoring purposes in individuals with a history of gastrointestinal conditions or those undergoing treatment. It helps assess the effectiveness of interventions and monitor for potential recurrence or progression.
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