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Don’t Ignore Fecal OBT in Physical Examination

Author:Dr.Liu Haixia

In physical examination, many people refuse to do a fecal occult blood test (OBT) for the inconvenience of getting the stool sample. However, this examination can be critical.


Fecal occult blood refers to a small amount of gastrointestinal bleeding without abnormal changes in the appearance of the stool, which naked eyes or microscopes can not confirm. Still, it is indeed an essential manifestation of organic lesions of the digestive tract. Therefore, if the fecal occult blood can be checked in time, the organic lesions of the digestive tract can be detected early. In ordinary people, 0.5-1.5ml of blood is lost every day during gastrointestinal mucosal epithelial renewal, which is normal physiological bleeding. However, if the blood loss of the digestive tract is greater than 2ml per day, it indicates that there is pathological bleeding in the digestive tract, which is pathological bleeding.


A fecal occult blood examination is of great significance in the early detection of colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is one of the most common malignancies in China, with the second most common fatality rate in the city. In the past 20 years, the incidence of colorectal cancer in China has been increasing significantly. The fatality and morbidity of the disease can be substantially reduced if the condition is detected and treated in the precancerous and early stages.

Besides large bowel cancer, the disease that causes fecal occult blood positive is colitis, colon polyp, esophagus stomach duodenal ulcer, esophagitis, gastritis, stomach polyp, stomach, and intestinal tuberculosis, stomach cancer, esophagus cancer, and so on. For patients with a positive fecal occult blood test, doctors usually recommend patients to do gastroenterostomy for further investigation.

Medical experts strongly recommend that people over 40 years old have a fecal occult blood test at least once a year and accordingly increase the test frequency for people with a family history of gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, large adenomas or polyp surgery, a history of colitis, people with gynecologic malignant tumor ever accepted the pelvic radiation therapy, more than ten years after cholecystectomy, unexplained abnormal defecate habit change or feces, recurring pernicious anemia, chronic atrophic gastritis, gastric ulcers, gastric polyps or previous gastric surgery, people with Helicobacter pylori infection, obese or smoking men.