Thursday, September 22, 2016

NO MORE OCCULT BLOOD TEST FOR ME !

     About 1/3 of you are saying , "What's he talking about?" A 1/3 are saying, "Oh yes ! That's an awful test." And 1/3 of you are saying, "I just don't care!"

     Well, you know that I'm going to tell you about this test since I don't have to do it any more.

      Occult blood is blood in your stools that can only be seen by using a microscope. What's so awfully important about blood in your stools? It could be a sign of cancer in the colon. The sooner cancer is diagnosed , the better chances you have to survive the cancer.

     Now I've done the occult blood test for about 40 years. I hate it and I'm going to tell you why in a minute. I have had annual check ups since my mid forties. For every annual check up I've been given the occult blood test.

    Okay, here we go.  Samples of the stool (feces) must be taken for the lab to have a look at. Okay with that? You can quit any time as there are more details. So you must some how or other catch the stool before it hits the water as that is a no no. You can let your imagination run wild on this one. Usually a sheet of plastic is put across the toilet bowl. You have a kit. Yes, a nice little kit. You have a nice little stick that you use to take a small sample of the stool and smear it on a little square in the kit. You take three samples . Oh yes you have to carefully date them and give the precise time. You must do this procedure three days in a row so you have nine little smears in the kit. Now you can rush down to the lab with your precious little samples.

    I hope you understand why I hated this test.

     The other day when I had my annual check up, just before I was leaving, my Doc said, "We don't have to do occult blood tests anymore." I didn't ask why? I guess he thought I would worry about it and so he informed me that I didn't have to do the test. I think there was a smirk on his face.

     Now I'll bet 1/3 of you have had to endure this test! I don't know if they've completely stopped using the test or if it's just my Doc who's not using it.

    ....and somebody wants to know why I don't have freakin photos on this post?
     
     

46 comments:

  1. I think they stop recommending that test when a patient hits a certain age. For you, that's a plus!

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    1. ...and here I thought they were doing away with the test! Now I didn't get it just because I'm old!!!

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  2. The things they put one through to keep us healthy.glad my doc doesn't do that.

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    1. I think the word you're looking for is invasive.

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  3. Our National Health Service sent me a kit when I was sixty but I will be damned if I am going to mess around with my poop. We have all got to die some time.

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    1. Well, yes, we have to die sometime but I'm going to kick and scream about it!

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  4. i remember my mother having to do that. ugh!

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  5. I refuse them! I just don't want to know. My first husband died after colon cancer treatments: surgery (infected), 2 weeks in hospital, chemo gave him a heart attack. He died in front of my daughter in his home. Horrible.

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    1. Yes, get tests done and then you are in control of your own health.

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  6. Yes, I know about that test. It's always been voluntary for me whether or not I do it. Once. It was enough. Glad you don't need to do that one any more. :-)

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    1. It's never been voluntary for me.

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  7. Bob has a strong family history of colon cancer. He faithfully did colonoscopies until his blood disease developed and they stopped him from having invasive procedures. That's been several years ago. For some reason this year they came up with the bright idea of the occult test. In the future we will pass on that one!

    I've always done colonoscopies and will continue to endure those because I always have polyps to be removed. This time instead of 5 or 10 years between them I only got 3 years. Grrrr

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    1. Both tests are very unpleasant but I would not refuse them.

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  8. I thought it had something to do with witches and ghosts when I read your headline!
    I will admit to having to do it, too. The alternative offered me was a colonoscopy every five years so this alternative seems preferable. Yucky maybe but preferable to preparing for a colonoscopy!

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    1. Key word is "preparing" Nice one with the other meaning of occult.

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  9. I had no idea that was what it is called but I have the test every year too. I have to say that I don't see it as a problem.

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    1. It's not a problem compared to what the consequences might be.

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  10. Replies
    1. It's not as yuck as you might think.

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  11. Replies
    1. The options are much worse, since you are young you don't have to worry about this for a while.

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  12. That's reminded me. Back in the late 80s I worked in a dairy factory and every single worker, from the big boss down had to do those tests every 6 months. I think it was something to do with salmonella. The kit was accompanied by instructions in cartoon drawing form which everyone found hilarious and which made the whole exercise not quite so bad. Glad, for your sake, if you hated them so much, that you don't have to do them any more. For me, the hardest part was remembering to do them on the assigned day.

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  13. I know exactly what you're talking about. These tests are done by the doctors here!

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    1. I think they're a very common annual check up test.

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  14. I have had to do this test three times. The last time, the lab said the thing I sent in was out of date, so I had to do it again. I HATE THAT TEST!! I wear surgical gloves when I have to do it. I HATE IT! Congrats on being done with it!!!

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    1. I well know why you would hate that test. I understand!

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  15. LOL, I don't like this test either as I find it hard to capture the 'stuff' without it hitting water. I notice last time they have a different kit which was a little better. I don't think I need another test for at least 3 years. Yeah!

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    1. Yes , the new test is easier. It also has more false positives.

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  16. Hmmmm... I've had to do this fecal test every year too and NEVER enjoyed it. I was wondering why my nurse practitioner didn't have me do it this this year. Hmmm... I don't like doing it, but I wouldn't want to get colon cancer either. Will you have to do the colonoscopy though?

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    1. I don't get another colonoscopy for 5 years.

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  17. hearing about it for the first time but sounds good to get rid of blood tests

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    1. Well, I don't mind the blood being taken for tests.

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  18. Hello, I came by your post from Linda Letters. It is my first time reading it. I can answer your question because I did ask the doctor. The occult blood test is to find any blood in the stool. If blood is found, a colonoscopy is scheduled. Doctor said 99% of the time blood is from hemorrhoids. He said I wouldn't ever have to have another colonoscopy. I was seventy at the time. If a polyp is discovered it takes 10 to 15 years to develop into colon cancer. I was happy to hear I needn't return, but not as happy about his estimate of the remaining life time! You can "google" "colorectal cancer and early detection" to verify this information.

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  19. My Doc hounded me into doing that test this year...it was nasty...but negative. I floated a old round cake pan in the water covered with the plastic drape...then I threw the cake pan away. It is better than a colonscope for sure, my husband has those cause he has polyps. We only had one swab in my test. :)

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  20. Still doing them, but now much easier - just one sample, and the floating flushable "catcher cloth" works well. The kit is much more user friendly. Now more smearing, just a little tube.

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  21. Hi Red, Gotta do it and sure don't like it! Ha ha! The best part is getting the result and finding it is "negative" :-) Is this a case of negative being positive? Gotta love medical terminology.

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  22. I’ve had to do this test only for the last few years since I have reached the age bracket where they are an annual event. Nobody would think of doing them earlier over here. So far so good.

    Nasty job, but cancer would be even nastier.

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  23. Nasty, nasty but like Friko mentioned cancer would even be nastier.

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  24. We still use this test in the hospital all the time!

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