What is a hemoccult test?
A hemoccult test is a simple screening tool to detect small traces of blood in your stool even before it is visible to the naked eye, for the early detection of colon cancer. Testing is recommended yearly, starting at age 50.
Who needs to do this test?
Anyone who has turned 50 years of age should have this test done, unless you already have visible signs of blood in your stool then there is no need for this test. In most individuals, the hemoccult test can show hidden blood in the stool in early curable stages of colon cancer. Each year more than 150,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer and 50,000 people die from this preventable disease. More than 90% of the colon cancer can be prevented with early detection. When cancer is detected after symptoms appear and it has spread to other parts of the body, fewer than 7% may be treated successfully. So give yourself the gift of life by doing this test as soon as you turn 50 years old or soon as you suspect something. Call our office or come by and get your free hemoccult test card.
How is the test conducted?
It is a simple test that requires you to take tiny samples of your stool and smear it on a card. This is what you need to do, during your bowel movement capture a little bit of stool on a stick, which will be provided for you, and then smear a thin amount on the stool sample card. You do this for 3 consecutive bowel movements to allow maximum detection rate of hidden blood. Certain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen should be avoided for 7 days prior to testing. Also certain foods such as cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, melons, undercook or rare meats and vitamin c and iron supplements should be avoided for 3 days prior to the test. The listed foods have chemicals in them that may interfere with the testing results. Once the stool collection is complete, simply bring or mail the cards back to Your G.I. Center for processing of your test. Our center specializes in such test and can interpret the results right away. The staff is well trained and proficient at processing the results. Dr.Meah and Dr.Le are experts at interpreting all labs that are conducted at our facility. Your G.I. Center is your one stop location for resolving all your gastrointestinal needs.
What does a positve result mean?
Don’t panic if you receive a positive result. It does not mean you have colon cancer. It simply means that there are trace amounts of blood detected in your stool. Many benign conditions such as hemorrhoids, anal fissures, ulcers, or even colon polyps can bleed. The important thing is when the test is positive, you need to follow up with your doctor for further testing. A colonoscopy is usually recommended to investigate the cause of the bleeding. A negative test, on the other hand, does not rule out colon cancer. The cancer surface is delicate and can bleed, but bleeding can be intermittent. It can bleed one day and not bleed again for several days, therefore this test can miss 40% of tumors. However, doing a Hemoccult test is better than doing nothing at all, which is what most adults do. Used correctly, this test can be an important aid in the detection of colon cancer in its early stages.
Where can i have this test done?
This test can be done at Your G.I. Center. All the employees are well trained and work under the direction of Dr.Meah andDr.Le when performing any labs. We do this test at our facility and interpret the results at the same location. Your G.I.Center will provide you with instructions for the lab and give you the results. Your G.I. Center is your one stop location for resolving all your gastrointestinal needs, go under the location tab to get the office directions.