Stool Tests for Colorectal Cancer
How It Is Done
You will need to collect stool samples over three different bowel movements on three different days. The test kit includes a wooden applicator and test cards. Be sure to follow the instructions that come with your test kit, including any instructions to avoid certain foods in the days before the test.
- Complete the identification information on the front of each card.
- During a bowel movement, collect a small amount of stool on one end of an applicator. You might try catching the stool on some plastic wrap draped loosely over the toilet bowl and held in place by the toilet seat. If you use a container to collect the stool, first clean and rinse it well to get rid of any substance that may affect the test results.
- Apply a thin smear of stool inside box A.
- Reuse the same applicator to obtain a second sample from a different part of the stool. Apply a thin smear inside box B.
- Close the cover of the slide.
- The next two times you test your stool, complete the remaining cards in the same way.
- Return all slides to your doctor either in person or by mail within 4 days of collecting the samples.
- If your test kit has the developer solution, wait 3 to 5 minutes before you put 1 drop of the developer solution on the area with the stool. Put 1 drop of the developer solution on the control areas of the card so that you will know what positive and negative test results should look like. An area to read the results is found on the reverse side of the card. Turn the card over and read the results within 10 seconds.
Other ways to do FOBT:
- Some kits instruct you to use a special cloth to wipe with after a bowel movement. After wiping with the cloth, you put the developer solution on it to check for color change that means there is blood in the stool.
- Other kits have a special test pad that you place in the toilet after having a bowel movement. The pad will change color if the stool has blood in it.
If there is blood in your stool, call your doctor as soon as possible.
You will need to collect two stool samples for testing over different days. The test kit includes brushes and test cards. Be sure to follow the instructions provided in the test kit. The FIT/iFOBT test doesn't require a special diet in the days before you take the test.
- Complete the identification information on the labels provided.
- Flush the toilet before your bowel movement. After you go, put used toilet paper in the waste bag from the kit, not in the toilet.
- Brush the surface of the stool with one of the brushes for about 5 seconds. If the stool is loose, use the brush to simply stir the water around the stool.
- Remove the brush from the water, and gently shake it once to remove extra water and any clumps of stool.
- Dab the end of the brush onto the test card for about 5 seconds. Close the flap on the card, and seal it with one of your labels.
- Put the used brush into the kit waste bag, and throw the bag in the trash.
- The next time you test your stool, complete the remaining card in the same way.
- Put the test cards in an envelope, and mail it as soon as possible after you have collected your second sample. Your doctor will tell you your test results.
Stool DNA test
You will receive a kit from your doctor with supplies and instructions for doing this test at home. Always follow the instructions in your kit.
- This test requires an entire stool sample. You use a special container for the stool. The container is placed in a bracket that stretches across the seat of your toilet.
- Have your bowel movement while sitting on the toilet. Make sure the stool goes into the container.
- Place the container and an ice pack in a shipping box. Close and label the box.
- The specimen must be shipped to the lab within 24 hours of your bowel movement. Your doctor will tell you your test results.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference January 17, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology