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A positive FOBT does not mean you have cancer. Other things can cause a positive test. Minor stomach bleeding from certain medicines or
or eating certain foods can cause a positive test. To help avoid this, you can try to:
Avoid certain medicines and foods, such as:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
for seven days prior to testing. If you are taking them daily for medical conditions, talk to your doctor before you stop taking them.
Red meats, 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.
When you are ready to have a bowel movement, you will set up the kit according to the instructions. 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. If you do not have hemorrhoids some doctors may allow you to smear the sample onto the card with stool from toilet paper. The card folds over to protect the stool sample.
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.
Can colorectal polyps and cancer be found early? Colorectal cancer screening. American Cancer Society website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated January 17, 2013. Accessed April 26, 2013.
Guide to diagnostic tests: fecal occult blood test. Harvard Medical School Health Publications website. Available at:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diagnostic-tests/fecal-occult-blood-test.htm. Accessed on April 26, 2013.
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
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