Bowel Test (Faecal Occult Blood)
COLORECTAL – FOB TEST
Checks the presence of faecal occult blood in faeces to verify possible gastrointestinal disorders.
Men and women from 45 to 75 years-old.
WHY SHOULD I PERFORM THE TEST?
Gastrointestinal disorders often bleed. The blood can be detected specifically by the faeces test. The presence of blood can be justified by benign causes; for example, ulcers, haemorrhoids, polyps, or fissures. It could also be due to a malign pathology such as colorectal cancer.
Checking the presence of blood in the faeces is a very good tool for verifying health status and eventually taking the required preventive actions. In case of cancer, early detection and prevention can be life saving.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The test is based on a new generation immunological methodology with high sensitivity which doesn’t require any dietary restrictions before or during the test.
1) Collect the samples using the special collection paper which allows you to do it with comfort and hygiene.
2) Use the stick of the collection tube and collect the sample three times in three different days.
3) The sample is closed inside the tube.
4) Add the diluent, wait for 10 minutes and read the result.
1 sealed aluminium pouch containing: 1 test device and desiccant, 3 paper fecal sample collection strips,1 tube containing 2 ml of extraction solution in a protective plastic bag,1 instruction for use.
To check for bowel disease you need to look for microscopic blood in the stool and you can do that with this test. If there’s any positive result you need to take this up with your doctor so it can be looked at.
The test stick will allow you to take a small sample of stool and then put this in the pre-filled tube. You’ll put a drop of the mixture onto your test strip and then in a couple of minutes the result will be ready. For the test there’s also a disposable toilet bowl you can use. There’s no changes in your diet necessary to take this test but don’t use it during your menstrual cycle.
Understanding Colorectal Cancer
You’ll need to get medical advice if you have any of the symptoms below. This test is for people without symptoms.
- If you have blood in your stool you’ll need to see your doctor right away
- If there’s a change in your bowel habits that lasts over one month such as constipation or loose stool issues
- If you have any unexplained weight loss issues
- If you are suffering from anaemia that can’t be explained
Why screening is important
If you get screened for this condition it reduces the chances that you’ll die from the disease. If you catch this disease early there’s a 90% chance that you’ll recover fully. In the UK you can get screening on the NHS every two years if you’re over the age of 60. Most people (around 80%) that get the condition are over age 60. If you live in Scotland you can actually get NHS tested at the age 50, which is the same as in the US. If you’re under age 40 the chances of getting this form of cancer is quite rare and a home test for those under age 40 it isn’t recommended as the results will almost always be something else entirely.
The decision to get this type of test will be determined by:
- Age – You should get the test after age 50 but you may want it at age 40 if you have a family history of colorectal cancer, for example.
- Health issues – if you have Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis discuss this with your doctor as the home test isn’t beneficial for you.
- Your family history – Ask your doctor about this as you may be able to be screened under the NHS.
- Test Accuracy – There are different home testing kits so the results may vary. The cancer can be missed because they only bleed occasionally so the test may miss the cancer entirely.
- False Positives – There can be positive results for other conditions besides cancer such as haemorrhoids or the use of medications. False positive may make you anxious, even though you don’t have cancer. Don’t take the test if you use non-steroidal anti-inflammatories or have haemorrhoids. In these cases it’s best to consult with your doctor.
Take advantage of NHS screening and make sure you follow up with your doctor to determine the outcome of the test. The doctor may not want to do this because they feel home tests are inaccurate but you should insist. You may want to take the screening in a private hospital, this can be expensive but worth it so you know for sure what the results are.
If there’s a positive test, you’ll need to get a colonoscopy.