How do I take a stool sample for a fecal occult blood test for cancer?

To take a stool sample for a fecal occult blood test, please follow these steps:
  1. When you are ready to have a bowel movement, unfold the large tissue paper. Put the paper inside the toilet so it is floating on top of the water with the edges sticking to the sides.
  2. Sit on the toilet and have your bowel movement so that the stool falls on top of the large tissue paper. You will need to collect your sample before the tissue paper sinks and the stool touches the water.
  3. Open the sample bottle and gently twist the green cap and lift straight out. Be careful not to spill the liquid in the bottle -- it will help preserve your stool sample.
  4. There is a sample stick attached to the green cap. Scrape some stool up with the sample stick. Cover the grooved tip of the stick completely with stool.
  5. Gently insert the sample back into the bottle. Push in the green cap until you hear it click into place. Do not reopen.
  6. Wipe off any stool that may have gotten on the outside of the bottle.
  7. Flush the toilet. The tissue paper will flush and will not harm the septic system.
  8. Fill in the label on the sample bottle (your name, age, and the date you collected your sample). Please print clearly. You must put the date on your sample or the lab will not be able to run the test.
  9. Put your sample bottle inside the return envelope. Seal the envelope.
  10. Follow your doctor's office instructions for mailing or bringing in your sample.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.