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Are stool samples collected by a digital rectal exam (DRE) allowed to be used for the gFOBT and FIT tests?
MNCM is a measurement agency and cannot instruct or monitor medical groups/clinics on adherence to lab standards for collection of specimens, including how to collect a stool sample for the gFOBT and FIT tests. It is the responsibility of medical groups/ clinics to follow manufacturer instructions and lab standards for specimen collection.
Stool specimens collected during a DRE can contain red blood cells (false positive) as a result of the collection method as opposed to a natural bowel movement. Guidelines from ICSI and the American Cancer Society discourage collection of stool specimens during DRE. The ICSI guideline states: While stool collection and gFOBT or FIT have sometimes been performed as part of a digital test in the office research has demonstrated that the sensitivity of in-office sample is so low that its use should be discouraged (Levin, 2008; Collins, 2005). According to the American Cancer Society Colorectal Cancer Early Detection Guide (2013): An FOBT or FIT done during a digital rectal exam in the doctor's office is not adequate for screening.