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Wednesday, 07 January 2015 15:20

FOBT (Fecal Occult Blood Test) Instructions

When caught early enough, colorectal cancer is curable in 9 out of 10 people. Since there are no visible signs or symptoms in the early stages, this simple and easy test could help save your life.

Please read these instructions fully.

A. Before You Start

Important: You must send in the test card as soon as the 3 flaps have been completed but no later than 10 days after collecting your first stool.
Avoid vitamin C supplements and citrus fruit and juices for three days before the test and during the stool sample collection period.
Otherwise, continue to eat your normal diet and take your regular prescribed medications.

B. Filling out the Test Card

  • Using a ballpoint pen, print your name and date of birth on the test card, as they appear on your health card.
  • You will collect stool samples on three different days within a ten day period.
  • The test card has three flaps – one for each day. Open only one flap at a time.
  • Under each flap there are two small areas on which to smear your samples.

C. Doing the Test

  1. Write the date (yyyy/mm/dd) and time of your first sample collection on flap 1. Peel back flap 1 to apply the first sample.
  2. Flush the toilet to clear the bowl. Do not use toilets with bowl cleaners such as bluing agents.
  3. To collect stool, use a clean, disposable container or place several layers of toilet paper in the toilet bowl to support the stool.
  4. Use the applicator stick to collect a small sample of the stool. Apply a very thin smear to Area I. Use the same stick to collect and smear a second sample from a different location of the stool in Area II. Close and secure the flap.
  5. Wrap a piece of toilet paper around the applicator stick and discard. Flush the toilet. You are done the first sample!
  6. Place the test card in the foil-lined envelope and store at room temperature until your next bowel movement. Do not seal the envelope until you have finished all 3 days.
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 to collect and smear samples on two additional days under flaps 2 and 3 accordingly.

D. After the Test

Place only the test card inside the foil-lined envelope and seal tightly.
Place the foil-lined envelope and the completed requisition form from your health care provider in the envelope provided.
Mail or drop off envelope at a community laboratory collection centre.

Need help? Any questions? Go to: Or call 1-866-410-5853 (TTY 1-800-387-5559)

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