Question: What are the key things to know about a fetal occult blood test for men?
Answer: Fecal occult blood testing is a screening test that we perform on stool to detect colon cancer or other signs of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. This is a fairly common test that is easy to perform. It is not a perfect test because there are a lot of things that can increase the positivity or negativity of this particular test and screening.
However, it is a very simple test to do. The procedure is simply done either by having you get cards and collect specimens of you stool over two or three days and have that tested with a special reagent that will tell us whether or not if there is any blood in that stool. This is the primary screen for colon cancer. Colon cancer affects lots of men in this country with a mortality of 24 thousand per year. This is only third to lung and prostate cancer. Fecal occult blood testing is a very important part of a regular medical check-up, and if the test is positive it leads to other studies.