An occult blood, stool test is a type of screening test that checks for the presence of hidden blood in the stool, which can be an early sign of colorectal cancer or other gastrointestinal conditions. Here are some reasons why you may need to get an occult blood, stool test:
To screen for colorectal cancer: Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in both men and women, and screening tests like an occult blood, stool test can help detect the cancer early, when it is most treatable.
To detect other gastrointestinal conditions: An occult blood, stool test can also help detect other gastrointestinal conditions that can cause bleeding in the digestive tract, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and hemorrhoids.
To monitor response to treatment: An occult blood, stool test may also be ordered to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for colorectal cancer or other gastrointestinal conditions.
As part of routine health screening: Depending on your age, family history, and other risk factors, your healthcare provider may recommend an occult blood, stool test as part of routine health screening.
Overall, an occult blood, stool test can be an important tool for early detection of colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal conditions. If you have concerns about your risk for these conditions, or if you are experiencing symptoms such as abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, or rectal bleeding, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider to determine if an occult blood, stool test is appropriate for you.