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What is a FOBT (Guaiac-Based Fecal Occult Blood Test)?

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Polyps and colon cancers have delicate blood vessels on their surface that can break and leak blood into your bowel movements. An FOBT looks for tiny traces of this blood.

Your doctor will give you a kit to collect a sample of your bowel movement at home. You'll place it onto a special card. Then you'll bring it back to your doctor's office or send it to a lab. The card is covered with a chemical called guaiac, which changes color if there's blood.

From: How to Find Colon Polyps Early WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "American Cancer Society recommendations for colorectal cancer early detection," "Frequently Asked Questions About Colonoscopy and Sigmoidoscopy," "Stool DNA Testing for Colon Cancer," "Colorectal cancer screening tests."

American College of Gastroenterology: "Colon Polyps."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Fecal Occult Blood Tests."

CDC: "Colorectal Cancer Screening Tests."

Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada: "Introduction to Fecal Occult Blood Tests."

Massachusetts General Hospital: "Double-Contrast Barium Enema (DCBE)."

National Cancer Institute: "Tests to Detect Colorectal Cancer and Polyps."

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Colonoscopy."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Final Recommendation Statement. Colorectal Cancer: Screening."

Mayo Clinic: "Fecal occult blood test."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on July 10, 2018

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "American Cancer Society recommendations for colorectal cancer early detection," "Frequently Asked Questions About Colonoscopy and Sigmoidoscopy," "Stool DNA Testing for Colon Cancer," "Colorectal cancer screening tests."

American College of Gastroenterology: "Colon Polyps."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Fecal Occult Blood Tests."

CDC: "Colorectal Cancer Screening Tests."

Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada: "Introduction to Fecal Occult Blood Tests."

Massachusetts General Hospital: "Double-Contrast Barium Enema (DCBE)."

National Cancer Institute: "Tests to Detect Colorectal Cancer and Polyps."

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Colonoscopy."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Final Recommendation Statement. Colorectal Cancer: Screening."

Mayo Clinic: "Fecal occult blood test."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on July 10, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

How often should you get a FOBT (Guaiac-Based Fecal Occult Blood Test) to check for polyps?

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