Your doctor has prescribed an immunochemical fecal occult blood test (iFOBT).This test aims to detect the presence of blood hidden in stool that is invisible to the naked eye. Blood in stool can be a sign of colorectal cancer, commonly known as colon cancer. The iFOBT is simple and can be done at home. Also, it does not require a particular diet.
However, certain situations may skew the test results. For instance, if you have bleeding hemorrhoids, you should wait for the bleeding to stop before doing the test. Also, if you are a woman menstruating, you should wait until the end of your cycle to do the test.
Prepare the Test
To do the test, you need the sample collection kit that you received from the specimen collection centre. This kit contains:
- A cylindrical tube with a green cap
- Waterproof, biodegradable paper
- A plastic bag
Take a Sample
Here are the steps to follow to take a stool sample. For your results to be valid, it is important that you follow each of these steps carefully:
When you are ready to do the test, take the tube and legibly write the following information on the label:
- Your first and last name
- Your date of birth
- The date and time collected
If your name is already indicated on the label, only write the date and time it is collected on the lines to the right of the barcode.
Unfold the paper. Place it in the center of the toilet bowl, directly on top of clean water so that the sides of the paper stick to the bowl. If you prefer, you may use a clean plastic container or aluminum tray, which you will throw away after collecting the sample.
When passing stool make sure that it falls on the paper or in the container. Stool must not be mixed with urine or another fluid prior to taking the sample.
Scratch the surface of the stool lightly with the green stick attached to the tube’s cap before the paper sinks into the water. Only scrape a small quantity of stool, enough to cover the end of the stick. Leave the paper in the toilet bowl and flush.
Keep the bag in the fridge until you bring your stool sample to the specimen collection centre.
Bring the Sample to Specimen Collection Centre
You must bring your stool sample to the specimen collection centre where you got the kit no later than 48 hours after taking the sample.
If you still have the exam prescription given by your doctor, do not forget to place it in the bag with your sample.
Test results will be sent to your doctor.
Last update: February 27, 2017