Fecal Occult Blood
(Stool for OB)

Alternate Names

  • FOBT
  • Stool Occult Blood
  • Hemoccult
  • Guaiac Smear Test
  • gFOBT
  • Immunochemical FOBT
  • Immunoassay FOBT
  • iFOBT
  • FIT (Fecal Immunochemical Test)

When blood is found in the stool, this indicates the presence of tumors somewhere within the digestive tract. The tumors are injured and release blood as food passes through the stomach and intestines; this blood is usually very small amounts that cannot be seen (occult blood). If an OB test is positive, then further tests will need to be done to determine exactly where the tumor is located. OB is seen in people with ulcers, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), diverticulosis, and benign or malignant tumors anywhere in the intestinal tract. Minor medical conditions can also be responsible for the presence of occult blood, such as hemorrhoids, recent dental work, and certain foods. Everybody should be screened for OB after the age of 50. There are many medications that may affect the test results, and a false positive result can occur after eating red meat.

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