A colorectal cancer awareness event sponsored by Maine Health at the Maine Mall in South Portland presented a… More >>
What is a stool test?
There are two types of stool blood tests, also known as Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT), or Fecal immunochemical test (FIT). One uses the chemical guaiac to detect blood in the stool, and the other (FIT) uses antibodies to detect blood in the stool.
Blood stool tests are not appropriate for individuals with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or polyps. Ask your doctor if high-sensitivity FOBT or FIT is the right screening option for you.
You receive a test kit from your health care provider. At home, you use a stick or brush to obtain a small amount of stool. You may be asked to do this for several bowel movements in a row. You return the test to the doctor or a lab, where stool samples are checked for blood.
What is it like preparing for a stool test?
Your doctor may recommend that you follow a special diet before taking the FOBT.
This test should be done every year. If anything unusual is found, your doctor will recommend a follow-up colonoscopy.