Doctor taking blood pressure of patient.

Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)

A healthy colon is vital to digestive well-being. At Providence, we provide comprehensive fecal occult blood tests in a compassionate, patient-centered environment to help us diagnose and treat several types of colon conditions.

Often, certain conditions can cause the presence of blood in your feces. Fecal occult blood tests are used to help determine the existence of hidden (occult) blood in feces.

By checking for hidden fecal blood, doctors can better evaluate the health and condition of a person’s colon, and treat conditions such as:

  • Colon cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Anal fissures
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Ulcers

If you are at risk of certain colon conditions, your doctor might prescribe a fecal occult blood test. Unlike other types of screenings and diagnostic exams, fecal occult blood tests are not surgical procedures. 

For most FOBT, your doctor will supply a home test kit that will ask you to provide samples of stool for laboratory testing. The home test kit often comes in the form of a container with a few small cards. 

Over the course of different bowel movements, you use a small applicator stick to smear a small sample of stool onto the cards. After a few samples, the test gets sent to a laboratory for testing. 

Fecal occult blood tests are simple blood tests and do not involve any risks of complications. If a sample comes back positive, there is a slight risk of emotional stress, but further tests are provided to ensure precise diagnoses and appropriate treatments.