The main use for the Hemoccult (aka fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or the fecal immunochemical test (FIT)) is as a screen for early colon cancer. Most cases of colon cancer begin with the development of benign intestinal polyps. Benign polyps are relatively common in people over the age of 50. Most are harmless, but some can become cancerous.
The fecal occult blood test is normally negative.
For the guaiac-based FOBT, a positive test result indicates that abnormal bleeding is occurring somewhere in the digestive tract. This blood loss could be due to ulcers, diverticulosis, polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, hemorrhoids, blood swallowed due to bleeding gums or nosebleeds, or benign or cancerous tumors.
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