Dr Fuhrman recommends this iFOB test yearly for people over the age of 50.
Colorectal cancer, is the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. Screening for colorectal cancer lowers both the mortality and the incidence of the disease and is widely recommended for persons 50 years of age or older. Interest in screening has increased in recent years but remains low.
Although fecal occult-blood testing is the only available noninvasive screening method that has been shown to reduce the risk of death from colorectal cancer, the traditional stool guaiac (hemocult) tests traditionally and commonly performed by physicians have limited sensitivity and are no longer recommended.
This iFOB (immunochemical Fecal Occult Blood) test is much more accurate and sensitive at detecting blood in the stool. Blood in the stool is an indication of a number of digestive tract disorders including colorectal cancer. These new, very sensitive stool tests can detect blood leakage from adenomas polyps, villous adenomas, and dysplastic polyps, thus detecting lesions in the colon before they become cancer.
In comparison, medical studies have shown when your doctor tests your stool for blood using a guaiac (hemocult) card in his office, the test is almost worthless. Stool guaiacs are not sensitive enough to detect a very small amount of blood in the stool. This immunochemical stool test is very sensitive and accurate. And, because it detects DNA sequences specific to human hemoglobin, no special dietary restrictions are needed (it is not fooled by the consumption of meat or vitamin C), and can detect even minute amounts of human blood in the stool.
Since colonscopies are invasive and only indicated once every ten years over the age of 50, testing the stool each year with an iFOB test is now effective, sensible and non-invasive. Most doctors have not updated their testing procedures and still use the old stool guaiac cards.
If you would like to order an iFOB test from our office, we send you a small kit in the mail with simple instructions. All you do is pierce the stool with the small stick and mail it back to us for testing in the self addressed tiny box. We notify you of the results within a week.
A positive test for blood may indicate:
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease such as Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s
- Diverticulitis or angiodysplasia of the colon
- Non-cancerous polyps or colon cancer
- Occult bleeding of the GI tract from aspirin or other drugs
- Bleeding hemorrhoids or fissures
- Contamination of the stool with blood from menstruation or urinary bleeding.
A positive test does not mean one has colon cancer, but a positive test should be investigated further to ascertain the cause of the bleeding. Colonoscopies are recommended if the test is positive. False positive due to eating meat does not occur with this test. No special diet or avoidance of supplements is required before testing. All customers are notified with the results by phone or e-mail. Please call our 800 number (800-474-9355) to make sure you receive your results in a reasonable time frame in case we are having difficulty contacting you.
*Test results can be obtained via Dr. Fuhrman’s medical office by returning the self-addressed small box that comes with the test kit. Postage will apply.
- Levi Z, Rozen P, Hazazi R, et al. A quantitative immunochemical fecal occult blood test for colorectal neoplasia. Ann Intern Med 2007;146:244-255.
- Wender RC. Colorectal cancer screening: don't do it, do it right. Amer Fam Physician 2006;73(10):1707-8.
- Collins JF, Accuracy of screening for fecal occult blood an on a single stool sample obtained by digital Lieberman DA, Dubin TE, Weiss DG. rectal examination: a comparison with recommended sampling practice. Ann Intern Med 2005;142:81-85.