Fecal Occult Blood Test

Table of contents

Fecal Occult Blood Test - what is it and how the test is done

The presence of blood anywhere, especially in any of your body fluids or secretions, could be an alarming sign. It indicates that something serious is going on inside your body, whether you have any other symptoms or not. 

It is always important and the foremost priority of a person to get themselves checked if they ever notice bloody discharge anywhere in their body. In most people, it is common to come across blood on their stools.

There are several reasons for the presence of blood in the stool, and they could be both serious and non-serious, such as: 

  • Haemorrhoids
  • Anal fissure 
  • Polyps (cancerous and noncancerous)
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s Disease 

However, it is always important to rule out the possibility of a severe underlying issue that could endanger your body in the long run. 

A faecal occult blood test is ordered for this purpose. It involves the collection of stool samples at different times of the day since, in many people, the blood may not always accompany the stool whenever and wherever. Once sent to the lab, these stool samples are analysed for the presence of blood and the underlying causes that might be causing it to appear. 

Common conditions covered by an FOBT Test

Anaemia Colon cancer Polyps Gastrointestinal bleeding Stomach ulcer Haemorrhoid Colorectal cancer

Where to get an FOBT Test in Italy

Fecal Occult Blood Test at-Home and Self Tests

Fecal Occult Blood Test FAQs

FOBT checks the stool sample for occult bleeding (bleeding from gastrointestinal parts that end up in the stool). Bleeding can be caused by haemorrhoids, anal fissures, polyps, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's Disease, and colorectal cancer.

It is intensely used for diagnosing colorectal cancer before the appearance of symptoms. It is also used to help find the cause of anaemia. It can distinguish between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which usually doesn't cause bleeding, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which is likely to cause bleeding.

It is recommended to undergo FOBT if suspected of bleeding. The screening tests can start at age 45 or 50 if a person has an average risk of developing colorectal cancer.

The provider will provide you with the kit for sample collection. The instructions for the equipment must be followed. The sample, once collected, must be stored in a prelabelled container with patient details, sealed and sent to the laboratory. The test can be reordered if the sample is inconclusive.

Avoid Vit C supplements, red meat (beef, lamb, pork), NSAIDs (Aspirin, Ibuprofen) drugs, and spicy food the day before the test, as these can alter results.

A Fecal Occult Blood Test in Italy costs on average 15 Euros. (information based on our data as of September 2022)