This simple test checks for the presence of hidden blood in a patient's stool. You only need to send a small stool sample to a lab, using a special card. However, the test has its drawbacks.
- The test will detect any blood found in the stool, including animal blood. For instance, eating a rare steak the day before the test may change the test results.
- The test will show if you are bleeding inside your body, but it does not show the source of this bleeding
- Hemoccults miss at least 60% of polyps in the large intestine. They also can fail to detect growths that have developed into cancer. This is why doctors often recommend a colonoscopy, or a flexible sigmoidoscopy, to check for polyps and colorectal cancer.
The Hemoccult stool sample test checks for blood in the patient's stool.