General Questions

What do the results of the Fecal Occult Blood Test mean?

A positive FOBT result means that blood was found in your stool. Your doctor will analyze the source of the bleeding by doing a colonoscopy or an examination to determine if the bleeding is coming from the stomach or small intestine. A negative test result means that no blood was found in the stool sample during the testing period. However, regular screening for colorectal cancer is recommended.

What instrument is used to perform a colonoscopy?

A colonoscope is used to perform a colonoscopy. This instrument is used to view the inner lining of the large intestine, that is, the rectum and colon. It is a thin, flexible tube ranging from 48 in. (125 cm) to 72 in. (183 cm) long, and has a small video camera attached for taking pictures or videos of the large intestine (colon). The doctor can view the entire colon and the lower part of the small intestine with a colonoscope.

What are the risks associated with a Cologuard test?

A Cologuard test may not be appropriate for everyone. This test is not a replacement for diagnostic or surveillance colonoscopy in high-risk individuals. Cologuard may not be appropriate if:

  • The patient has a family history of colon cancer.
  • The patient has a personal history of colon cancer, polyps, or other related cancers.
  • The patient had a positive result for another screening method in the last six months.
  • The patient has been diagnosed with a condition that places him/her at high risk for colon cancer such as inflammatory bowel disease, chronic ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, familial adenomatous polyposis.
  • The patient has been diagnosed with a relevant cancer syndrome passed on from his/her family.