The main use for the FOBT is as a screen for early colon cancer. Blood in the stool may be the only symptom of early cancer. If the cancer is detected early, the chance that it will be curable is increased. The FOBT is not diagnostic for cancer; other follow-up procedures would need to be done to find the source of the bleeding because the blood may also indicate other gastrointestinal problems.

A secondary use of FOBT is to look for a cause of anemia, such as blood loss from a bleeding ulcer. If you have symptoms and signs of anemia, such as fatigue or a low hemoglobin and hematocrit, and/or unusually dark stools, your doctor may want to order the FOBT.

For more information, read the following

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