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Fecal Occult Blood Test

Fecal Occult Blood Test


The faecal occult blood test (FOBT) is a screening test used to detect hidden blood in the stool, which can be an early sign of colorectal cancer or other gastrointestinal disorders. The test involves collecting small samples of stool and applying them to specially treated cards or slides, which are then analyzed for the presence of blood. FOBT is typically done as part of a routine physical exam or screening program for people at average risk for colorectal cancer. A positive FOBT result should be followed up with a colonoscopy or other diagnostic test to determine the cause of the bleeding.

Colorectal Cancer:

Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that affects the colon and rectum, which are part of the large intestine. It is also known as colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on the location of the tumor. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in men and women worldwide. It often starts as a small growth on the inner lining of the colon or rectum, called a polyp, which over time can become cancerous. Some common symptoms of colorectal cancer include rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, and changes in bowel habits such as constipation or diarrhea.

Risk factors for colorectal cancer include age (most cases are diagnosed in people over 50), having a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, and certain inherited gene mutations. Some lifestyle factors, such as a diet high in red and processed meats, lack of physical activity, obesity and smoking, also increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

Screening tests such as fecal occult blood test and colonoscopy, can help detect colorectal cancer early, when it is most treatable. Treatment options for colorectal cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The success rate of treatment depends on the stage of the cancer when it is diagnosed.

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