New Health Check Interpretation Manual ⑱ – Fecal Occult Blood Test

Fecal Occult Blood Test

Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT), which detects hidden blood in the stool, is an important tool for early detection of gastrointestinal diseases. Gastrointestinal diseases refer to conditions that affect the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus, including associated organs such as the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. Specific diseases include gastric ulcers, duodenal ulcers, gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease, gallstones, hepatitis, cirrhosis, pancreatitis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

Occult blood, as the name suggests, refers to “hidden blood” that cannot be detected by visual inspection. The FOBT chemically detects small amounts of blood in the stool.

If blood is visibly present in the stool, it is called “overt bleeding,” which may indicate a significant symptom requiring immediate evaluation at a medical institution.

Causes and Results:

A positive result in the FOBT may indicate bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, particularly in the colon, and this could be caused by conditions such as ulcers, polyps, or colorectal cancer.

Significance of the Test:

FOBT is widely recognized as a valuable screening tool for detecting early-stage colorectal cancer. Since colorectal cancer often shows minimal symptoms in its early stages, this test is crucial.

Risks of Neglecting the Test:

Neglecting the FOBT can make early detection challenging and increase the likelihood of disease progression, such as ulcers, polyps, or colorectal cancer. These conditions can lead to serious health problems when advanced.

Japanese References:

  1. Ide Hiroki et al. “Usefulness of fecal occult blood testing in colorectal cancer screening.” Journal of the Japan Medical Association, 157(6), 1166-1170, 2017.
  2. Hashimoto Ryuichi et al. “Effectiveness of fecal occult blood testing in the general population.” Journal of the Japan Society of Internal Medicine, 106(5), 672-678, 2017.
  3.  Yamamoto Tsuyoshi et al. “Study on the screening of fecal occult blood test and colonoscopy.” Journal of the Japan Society of Coloproctology, 71(6), 558-564, 2018.

International References:

  1. “Colorectal cancer screening: Recommendations for physicians and patients from the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer.” Gastroenterology, 153(1), 307-323, 2017.
  2. “European guidelines for quality assurance in colorectal cancer screening and diagnosis.” Endoscopy, 45(01), 51-59, 2013.
  3. “Cost-effectiveness of colorectal cancer screening.” Epidemiologic Reviews, 33(1), 88-100, 2011.

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