Faecal occult blood test - FOBT

What Is an FOBT?

A faecal occult blood test (FOBT) is a simple screening test used to detect tiny amounts of blood in your stool.

Why is this important?

Because blood in the stool can be an early sign of bowel cancer or other conditions.

The best part?

You can do this test in the privacy of your own home.

How Does It Work?

  1. Collect Samples:
    • Using an FOBT kit, take a minuscule sample from two separate bowel motions (faeces).
    • These samples are then sent to a laboratory for testing.
  2. Detecting Blood:
    • FOBTs look for blood that often can't be seen by the naked eye.
    • While blood might be caused by something less serious than cancer, it could also be a sign of:
      • Early bowel cancer.
      • Polyps (growths on the inside of the bowel that could develop into cancer).

Who Needs an FOBT?

  • Age 50 and Over: Men and women aged 50 and over, without symptoms and without a strong family history of bowel cancer, are encouraged to do an FOBT every two years.
  • Strong Family History or Symptoms: Those with a strong family history of bowel cancer or any symptoms should see their GP for advice.

Accuracy and Benefits

  • Screening Effectiveness: Although no test is 100% accurate, FOBTs are currently the most widely available and well-tried screening test for bowel cancer.
  • Reduce Risk: Doing an FOBT every two years can reduce your risk of dying from bowel cancer by up to a third.

Understanding the Results

  1. Negative (No Blood Found):
    • A negative FOBT doesn't mean you're completely free from bowel cancer.
    • Continue regular FOBTs every two years.
    • See you GP if you notice any blood in your bowel motions or have symptoms, even if your last test was normal.
    • Positive (Blood Found):
    • Several reasons other than cancer can cause blood in the stool (e.g., haemorrhoids or menstrual blood).
    • A colonoscopy is usually recommended after a positive FOBT result. A direct examination of the colon and rectum to identify the source of bleeding. Read more about colonoscopy here.

Remember that early evaluation and appropriate management are crucial for better outcomes. Colorectal cancer is the second most common non-cutaneous malignancy in Australia, 15, 367 cases in 2023 (8133 men and 7234 women) and second only to lung cancer in terms of cancer mortality. In 2021 there were 5,350 deaths attributed to colorectal cancer (Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare). Early detection is crucial, with 90% of cases successfully treatable.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Golani, please contact our team for a consultation with Dr Golani. We have appointments available at three convenient locations across Sydney:

Please note that a GP referral will be required prior to your consultation.

Contact Us

To make an initial consultation booking, please contact our office on 02 8599 9819.

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Hornsby Clinic Address:

Madison Building
Suite 7, 25-29 Hunter St,
Hornsby NSW 2077
Phone: (02) 8599 9819
Email: info@drgolani.com.au
Fax:(02) 9012 0976

HealthLink: drgolani

Our Horsnby clinic is located conviniently next to Hornsby Westfield & Hornsby Station
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Mater Clinic Address:

Suite 13, Level 1 Mater Clinic
Mater Hospital
25 Rocklands Rd, North Sydney NSW 2060
Phone: (02) 8599 9819
Email: info@drgolani.com.au
Fax:(02) 9012 0976

HealthLink: drgolani

Mater Clinic
Our Mater clinic is located within Mater Hospital. Parking and Entry (convenient Pickup and Drop Zone) is via 5 Gillies St, Wollstonecraft.
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Norwest Clinic Address:

Suite 301C, Level 3
Q Central Building
10 Norbrik Dr, Bella Vista NSW 2153
Phone: (02) 8599 9819
Email: info@drgolani.com.au
Fax:(02) 9012 0976

HealthLink: drgolani

Norwest Clinic - Q Central Building
Our Norwest - Bella Vista clinic is located within Q Central Building - opposite Norwest Private Hospital. Free Limited Parking is available within the Q Central Building. There is a drop off zone outside of the building. Paid parking is available opposite at Norwest Private Hospital. Additionally there is parking at Woolworths Norwest Circa (5 minutes walk from the Clinic)
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What do I bring to my appointment?

  • Referral letter
  • X-Rays/Scans
  • Test results relating to referral
  • Health fund card
  • Medicare card

Royal College of Surgeons     Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand     Royal College of Edinbirgh     Gastroenterological Society of Australia     Sydney Adventist Hospital (SAN)     The Mater Hospital     Norwest Private Hospital