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A 21-year-old member asked:

How are fecal occult blood tests performed?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Chakshu Gupta
Pathology 23 years experience
In the lab: Great question. A great way to screen for intestinal cancer as cancers cause small amounts of bleeding, which is then passed in the feces. A less sensitive chemical method and more accurate immuno method can be used. Not all cancers will leak blood, blood in feces is not always cancer and other substances can have false results. Ask your doc about colonoscopy if >50 or family history of cancer.
Dr. Eric Kaplan
Colon and Rectal Surgery 42 years experience
Varies: Usually it requires a sample of the stool and then exposing it to a reagent either chemical or immunologic and comparing the results to a control sample. Some can be done at home and others require a sample obtained in the doctors office. The sensitivity and specificity of the result depends upon the type of test and how it is performed.

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A 45-year-old member asked:

What is the reagent found in fecal occult blood tests?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
See below: There is more than one way to test for occult blood in stool. See this site for more information. http://www.webmd.com/colorectal-cancer/fecal-occult-blood-test-fobt.

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Last updated Sep 8, 2012

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