A positive FOBT does not mean you have cancer. Other things can cause a positive test. Minor stomach bleeding from certain medicines or hemorrhoids or eating certain foods can cause a positive test. To help avoid this, you can try to:
Avoid certain medicines and foods:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin for seven days prior to testing (If these are taken daily for medical conditions, consult your doctor before discontinuing.)
Red meats for three days before testing
Cantaloupe, uncooked vegetables, blood sausage, and possibly Tabasco sauce for three days before testing
Wait until your hemorrhoids are not bleeding.
Avoid having the test during your menstrual period.
Avoid cleaning your toilet bowl for several days before the test. Chemicals from the cleanser can affect the test.
Description of Test
The test is most often done at home.
You will set up the kit according to the instructions when you are ready to have a bowel movement. The kit should allow you to collect three samples of stool. Some kits provide a disposable container into which you can pass your bowel movement. Other kits provide you with tissue paper or plastic wrap that you can lay in the toilet to keep your stool sample from sinking into the water.
Using thin wooden sticks provided with the kit, you will pick up a very small sample of stool. You will then smear the sample onto a special card. The card folds over to protect the stool sample.
You will mail or deliver the cards to the clinic or lab. Make sure you have written your name on each card.
How Long Will It Take?
The test should only take a few minutes.
Will It Hurt?
This test will not hurt.
If blood is found in your stool, you may be asked to have additional tests. These tests will help to determine the cause of the bleeding. Although cancer may be one cause of blood in the stool, there are many other causes.
Call Your Doctor
After the test, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Pignone M, Campbell M, Carr C, et al. Proposed Effects of Dietary and Medication Restrictions during FOBT with guaiac-based tests. Meta-analysis of dietary restriction during fecal occult blood testing.
Effective Clinical Practice. 2001;4:150-156.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a