Frequently asked questions
1) Testing and Bowel Cancer
Cancers do not always bleed and conducting tests on consecutive stool samples can increase the likelihood of catching intermittent bleeding.
More than 90% of bowel cancers are curable if caught early. Regular screening for bowel cancer can reduce the risk of death by 25%. More information can be found on our Why Test page.
2) Preparing to Use measure Bowel Health
No cancer screening test is perfect, and some factors can cause a false positive or false negative result.
A false positive result is an indication that blood is present in the faeces when there is none. For example, this can be triggered by the user not observing the Dietary Guidelines (download the Instructions for Use for further information), use of certain medicines or contamination of the sample during menstruation. To reduce the likelihood of a false positive result all restrictions should be observed and adhered to.
Menstruation can potentially contaminate the faeces sample with blood. 5 days prior allows sufficient time to complete the test before the onset of menstruation.
- Red meat contains haemoglobin that can trigger the test causing a false positive result.
- Some raw fruits and vegetables such as turnips, broccoli, horseradish, cauliflower, cantaloupe, parsnips and red radish contain peroxidase-like substances that can interfere with the test causing a false positive result.
Certain medicines can interfere with the result of the test by causing gastrointestinal irritation and bleeding in some people causing a false positive result. These medicines include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) e.g aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, indomethacin, phenylbutazone. If you are taking any of these drugs, please ask your pharmacist or doctor for further advice.
A false negative result occurs when the test indicates no blood is present, when in fact blood is present. For example, this can be triggered by certain compounds interfering with the chemical mechanism by which the test works. To reduce the likelihood of a false negative result all restrictions should be observed and adhered to.
Doses greater than 250mg per day vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can stop the test becoming positive.
Certain medications can interfere with the result. If you are taking these medications, DO NOT stop taking them. Speak to your pharmacist for advice before making any changes to your medication regime.
3) Using Measure
The collection sheet’s sticky tabs must be placed on a dry toilet seat. In order to ensure the sheet sticks, press and rub firmly to ensure proper adhesion.
I inserted the cartridge into the reader, but the test number stopped flashing before I inserted my sample. What do I do?
- Inserting the cartridge into the reader switches the reader on. There is a 4-minute window in which to insert the sample. If the light has stopped flashing, this means that the 4-minute window has finished.
- Don’t worry – you can still complete test 2 and 3 and receive a valid result based on two tests. If the second or third test is not completed within the 4-minute window, no result will be displayed.
I inserted my sample into the cartridge before I placed the cartridge into the reader. What do I do?
The cartridge must not have a sample inside when first inserted into the reader. If this is the case, that test will be invalid. Don’t worry – you can still receive a valid result based on the next two tests, if followed correctly.
The reader is designed to store results from each individual test and will only display a result after completion of the third Confidential test.
The test is designed to analyse all three tests before producing a result, increasing the chances of catching any intermittent bleeding.
I inserted the cartridge into the reader before inserting the sample, but nothing happened. What do I do?
- It is important that a test number should start flashing before inserting the sample. This is because doing so switches the reader on; if this is not the case then it may be that the cartridge has not been fully inserted. Push down firmly and check to see if a test light has started slowly flashing.
- If nothing happens, remove the cartridge by pulling upward firmly, then replace the cartridge into the reader.
- Should the reader still not switch on, please contact us on the helpline provided.
4) Your results
- Testing positive for presence of blood, indicated by an amber alert, means that in at least one of the tests detectable levels of blood were found in your stool sample.
- Presence of blood can be caused by a number of factors, not necessarily bowel cancer. It is however important that you seek advice from you doctor/GP as soon as possible, so that the cause of bleeding can be determined.
I took the test and received a Green Tick result. I am still concerned about my bowel health. What should I do?
A green tick means that no detectable blood was found in your stool samples when using the Measure Bowel Health Test. If you are still concerned/have other symptoms that concern you, seek advice from your doctor/GP.
The kit is a one-use, triplicate test. Therefore, after a result is produced, no further testing can be done.
The guidelines are important to follow as certain foods can interfere with the result. Please follow these guidelines as closely as possible to ensure the most reliable result from your tests.
Information for your GP
- Measure Bowel Health is an electronic Faecal Occult Blood Test (eFOB), based on the same testing principles as the NHS guaiac Faecal Occult Blood (gFOB) Screening Standard.
- Measure Bowel Health test kits are programmed to work at a detection threshold of 5.1 μg/g (Haemoglobin/stool).
- measure tests stool samples, analysing the peroxidase activity that indicates presence of blood. measure’s analysis is based on electrochemical readings from the peroxidase activity of any potential blood in stool by reactions with chemicals TMB and Perborate.
- The test has a sensitivity of 97.4% and a specificity of 87.2%, comparable to that of the NHS Screening Standard. Furthermore, measure is CE Marked for sale as a Consumer Device and as a Point Of Care medical device.