How does the FOB test work?

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme helpline is 0800 707 6060

Polyps and bowel cancers sometimes bleed, and the faecal occult blood (FOB) test works by detecting tiny amounts of blood which cannot normally be seen in bowel motions. 'Occult' means hidden. The FOB test does not diagnose bowel cancer, but the results will indicate whether further investigation (usually a colonoscopy) is needed.

People who receive an abnormal result will be offered an appointment with a specialist nurse. The nurse will explain what a colonoscopy involves, assess the patient's fitness for the procedure, and answer any questions.

Example of Bowel Screening Kit: Click for larger image

The FOBt kit, and cardboard sticks used for sample collection
Click for larger image