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.
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