Your doctor may recommend a fecal occult blood test to:
June 06, 2014
- Screen for colon cancer. If you're age 50 or older and at average risk of colon cancer, your doctor may recommend a fecal occult blood test every year to screen for colon cancer. In addition, however, you may need other screening tests that allow the doctor to examine the colon directly.
- Evaluate possible causes of unexplained anemia. Anemia is a condition in which there aren't enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your tissues. Sometimes a fecal occult blood test is used to determine whether bleeding in your digestive tract — such as a bleeding ulcer — is contributing to anemia.
- Fecal occult blood test and fecal immunochemical test: The test. American Association for Clinical Chemistry. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/fecal-occult-blood/tab/test. Accessed March 6, 2014.
- Fletcher RH. Tests for screening for colorectal cancer: Stool tests, radiologic imaging and endoscopy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 6, 2014.
- Fletcher RH. Screening for colorectal cancer: Strategies in patients at average risk. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 7, 2014.
- Fecal occult blood test and fecal immunochemical test: The test sample. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/fecal-occult-blood/tab/sample/. Accessed March 6, 2014
- Ask Mayo Expert. Colorectal cancer screening and surveillance. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
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- Flitcroft KL, et al. Colorectal cancer screening: Why immunochemical fecal occult blood tests may be the best option. BMC Gastroenterology. 2012;12:183.
- Medical devices: Fecal occult blood. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/InVitroDiagnostics/HomeUseTests/ucm125834.htm. Accessed Feb. 28, 2014.
- Ghosh AK, editor. Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine Review. 8th ed. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Clinic Scientific Press, New York: Informa Healthcare USA; 2008.
- Brink D, et al. Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement. Colorectal cancer screening. https://www.icsi.org/guidelines__more/catalog_guidelines_and_more/catalog_guidelines/catalog_prevention__screening_guidelines/colorectal/. Accessed Feb. 28, 2014.
- US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for colorectal cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2008;149:627.
- Fecal occult blood tests. American Society of Clinical Oncology. http://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/diagnosing-cancer/tests-and-procedures/fecal-occult-blood-tests. Accessed March 21, 2014.