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Fecal Occult Blood Test and Fecal Immunochemical Test

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Also known as: FOBT; Stool Occult Blood; Hemoccult; Guaiac Smear Test; gFOBT; Immunochemical FOBT; Immunoassay FOBT; iFOBT; FIT
Formal name: Occult Blood Test, Fecal
Related tests: Complete Blood Count, Calprotectin, Stool DNA

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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.

Sources Used in Current Review

(Reviewed 2013 December). Tests to Detect Colorectal Cancer and Polyps. National Cancer Institute [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Detection/colorectal-screening through http://www.cancer.gov. Accessed November 2014.

(Revised 2014 March). Colorectal Cancer Screening. CDC Basic Fact Sheet [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/pdf/Basic_FS_Eng_Color.pdf through http://www.cdc.gov. Accessed November 2014.

(2013 November). Colorectal Cancer Tests Save Lives. CDC [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/colorectalcancerscreening/ through http://www.cdc.gov. Accessed November 2014.

Longstreth, G. (Updated 2013 October 14). Stool guaiac test. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003393.htm through http://www.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed November 2014.

Jeter, J. (Updated 2013 September 9). Preventive Oncology. Medscape Drugs & Diseases [On-line information]. Available online at http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1349338-overview through http://emedicine.medscape.com. Accessed November 2014.

(2014 July). Reducing Your Risk of Cancer. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq007.pdf through http://www.acog.org. Accessed November 2014.

Van Roon, A. et. al. (2013). Random Comparison of Repeated Faecal Immunochemical Testing at Different Intervals for Population-based Colorectal Cancer Screening. Medscape from Multispecialty Gut. v62 (3):409-415. [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/778812 through http://www.medscape.com. Accessed November 2014.

(Reviewed October 15, 2014) American Cancer Society. Can colorectal polyps and cancer be found early? Available online through http://www.cancer.org. Accessed January 2015.

Sources Used in Previous Reviews

American Cancer Society. Detailed Guide: Colon and Rectum Cancer. Can Colorectal Polyps and Cancer Be Found Early? Colorectal Cancer Screening. Available online through http://www.cancer.org. Accessed 2/4/08.

Laurie Barclay, MD (News author); Hien T. Nghiem, MD (CME author). Fecal Immunochemical Test May Be Most Effective for At-Home Colon Cancer Screening (CME). Release Date: November 15, 2006. Available online through http://www.medscape.com. Accessed February 2008.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Colorectal cancer screening guidelines. Reviewed/updated 16 Feb 2007. Available online at http://www.cdc.gov. Accessed 15 Feb 2008.

Bernard Levin, MD, et al. Screening and Surveillance for the Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer and Adenomatous Polyps, 2008: A Joint Guideline from the American Cancer Society, the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, and the American College of Radiology. CA Cancer J Clin 2008. Available online through http://caonline.amcancersoc.org. Accessed February 2008.

American Cancer Society. Press release: Health Groups Issue Updated Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines; Recommendations Include Two New Tests and Preference for Tests that Detect Precancerous Polyps. Atlanta 2008/03/05. Available online through http://www.cancer.org. Accessed February 2008.

Thomas, Clayton L., Editor (1997). Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. F.A. Davis Company, Philadelphia, PA [18th Edition].

Pagana, Kathleen D. & Pagana, Timothy J. (2001). Mosby's Diagnostic and Laboratory Test Reference 5th Edition: Mosby, Inc., Saint Louis, MO.

Kirchner, J. (2001, June 1). Fecal Occult Blood Testing to Screen for Colon Cancer. American Family Physician [On-line serial]. Available online through http://www.aafp.org.

Apgar, B. (2000, March 15). Guaiac Examination of the Rectum for Fecal Blood. American Family Physician [On-line serial]. Available online through http://www.aafp.org.

CDC (2001, March 9). CDC says colorectal cancer screening rates remain low. Centers for Disease Control [Press Release]. Available online through http://www.cdc.gov.

MedlinePLUS (Page updated 2002, January 2). Fecal occult blood test (FOBT). MedlinePlus Encylopedia [On-line information]. Available online through http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007008.htm.

AGA (2001). Clinical Practice Recommendations -- People at Average Risk. The American Gastroenterological Association [On-line information]. Available online through http://www.gastro.org.

NCI (2001, August 23). Questions and Answers about Screening, Early Detection, and Treatment for Colorectal Cancer. National Cancer Institute, Cancer Facts [On-line information]. Available online through http://cis.nci.nih.gov.

Levin, B. et al. Emerging Technologies in Screening for Colorectal Cancer. CA Cancer J Clin 2003; 53:44-55. Available online through http://caonline.amcancersoc.org.

CMS: Medicare Announces Intention to Cover Screening Immunoassay Fecal-Occult Blood Tests; November 5, 2003. Available online through http://www.cms.hhs.gov.

(Revised 2011 June 20). Colorectal Cancer Overview. American Cancer Society [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/ColonandRectumCancer/OverviewGuide/index through http://www.cancer.org. Accessed July 2011.

(Revised 2011 June 24). Colorectal Cancer Early Detection. American Cancer Society [On-line information]. Available online through http://www.cancer.org. Accessed July 2011.

(Updated 2009 July 31). Colorectal Cancer. CAP [On-line information]. Available online through http://www.cap.org. Accessed July 2011.

Eisner, T. (Updated 2010 November 12). Stool guaiac test. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003393.htm. Accessed July 2011.

Dugdale, D. (Updated 2011 February 16). Flushable reagent stool blood test. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007007.htm. Accessed July 2011.

Pagana, K. D. & Pagana, T. J. (© 2011). Mosby's Diagnostic and Laboratory Test Reference 10th Edition: Mosby, Inc., Saint Louis, MO. Pp 913-915.

Wu, A. (© 2006). Tietz Clinical Guide to Laboratory Tests, 4th Edition: Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, MO. Pp 782-785.

(March 5, 2008) Levin B, et al. Screening and Surveillance for the Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer and Adenomatous Polyps, 2008: A Joint Guideline from the American Cancer Society, the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, and the American College of Radiology. CA Cancer J Clin 2008. Available online at http://caonline.amcancersoc.org/cgi/content/full/CA.2007.0018v1 through http://caonline.amcancersoc.org. Accessed July 2011.

Dreyfuss J. Fecal Occult Blood Testing Has Great Potential as a Screening Tool for Colorectal Cancer. CA Cancer J Clin 2010; 60:275-276. Available online at http://caonline.amcancersoc.org/cgi/content/full/60/5/275 through http://caonline.amcancersoc.org. Accessed July 2011.

Fraser C. Fecal Occult Blood Tests Life Savers or Outdated Colorectal Screening Tools? Clinical Laboratory News, March 2011: Volume 37, Number 3. Available online at https://www.aacc.org/publications/cln/2011/march/Pages/FecalOccult.aspx through https://www.aacc.org. Accessed July 2011.