Fetal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)(yearly)
A fecal occult blood test detects whether or not blood is present in the stool. Blood in the stool may indicate one of many possible problems in the colon, such as polyps, ulcers, Crohn’s disease, infections, hemorrhoids, etc.
There are a number of different methods of using a take-home FOBT kit:
- You may gather stool samples, smear them onto provided paper cards and then either test the samples at home or send them to a laboratory. When testing at home, adding a solution to the cards may cause a color change and indicate blood in the stool.
- Another way to perform a FOBT requires first taking a bowel movement and then placing a special paper into the toilet. A color change in the paper means blood is present.
Bleeding may not occur regularly, so take three tests total, one each day. Contact your doctor with the results. A positive outcome may require further testing with a colonoscopy.
Anyone age 50 or older should start taking an annual FOBT.
Do not take a FOBT if you have diarrhea, colitis, constipation, ulcers, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis or while menstruating.
It will take about three days to prepare for the FOBT. Avoid red meat, some vegetables and fruits, and foods and drinks with vitamin C. Ask your doctor for a full list of items to avoid before your FOBT.
You may need to avoid certain medications during your preparation. Consult your doctor before stopping any medications.
Avera Digestive Disease Institute, working in conjunction with Avera Gastroenterology, facilitates two distinct settings for endoscopy care and screenings. Learn more about how these endoscopy suites use state-of-the-art technology and comfortable surroundings to provide patient-focused care.