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The fecal occult blood test (FOBT) is a lab test used to check stool samples for hidden (occult) blood.
Occult blood in the stool may indicate colon cancer or polyps in the colon or rectum — though not all cancers or polyps bleed.
Typically, occult blood is passed in such small amounts that it can be detected only through the chemicals used in a fecal occult blood test.
If blood is detected through a fecal occult blood test, additional tests may be needed to determine the source of the bleeding. The fecal occult blood test can only detect the presence or absence of blood — it doesn't indicate potential sources of bleeding.