Faecal occult blood
|Test Details for Ordering
|Faecal occult blood
|stool sample needed
|To order this test, please, go to Ordering Tests.
Please, make sure you have read When not to use this website to ascertain whether having this test is an appropriate and safe course of action for you.
[UPDATED APRIL 2022]
This test looks for blood in the stool. It can be used as a crude screening test for bowel cancer, but any cause of blood loss will give a positive test such as piles, sometimes ulcer disease, inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's or ulcerative colitis. Taking aspirin or other NSAIs (non-steroid anti-inflammatories) such as ibuprofen, diclofenac, indomethacin can also cause blood loss.
A positive result requires urgent investigation in which case you need to contact your own physician with a copy of the test result.
A negative test is good, but does not exclude bowel cancer.
This test is performed on a random sample of faeces.
The kit for this test includes a collection tube,packaging materials for transporting the sample in the post, a request form and a pre-paid envelope for sending the sample to the laboratory.
For three days before the test avoid eating red meat (the blood in red meat can cause a positive result), iron tablets, taking aspirin or other such NSAIs (arthritis drugs), or raw vegetables and bananas. Do not take more than 1 gram of Vitamin C.
To complete the test: collect the sample of stool using the spoon attached to the lid of the sample container (only a small quantity of sample is necessary for testing), make sure that your name and date of birth are clearly marked on the tube. Check that your details are correct on the request form. Using the packaging materials provided prepare the sample for posting in the pre-paid addressed envelope. Please, make sure that the request form is sent along with the sample. Do not post on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
- Please, note that there is an interpretation fee for my letter to your GP. See Ordering Tests for more details.