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Is positive stool occult blood test a sign of internal bleeding or cancer in children?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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Hi, I am XXXX. Today I have done the Stool Occult Blood Test + RE of my 1 month and 9 days' old baby boy. The report of the test contains the following: (Physical Examination)Colour - Yellowish ; Consistebcy - Semiformed; Mucus - Present; (Chemical Examination) Reaction - Acidic; Stool Occult Blood - Positive; (Microscopic Examination) Pus Cells - 2-3/hpf; Epithelial Cells - Ocassional; OVA - Not Found; Cyst - Not Found; Parasites - Not Found; Red Blood Cells - 4-6/hpf; Vegetable Cells - Not Found; Others - Fat globule (+) & Starch (few). Having seen this report, I am really tensed as his Stool Occult Blood test is positive. Tomorrow I am going to consult a renowned child specialist. But still I am very worried as I found on the web that Stool OBT result is positive indicates the presence of some internal bleeding or cancer. I seek your kind advice. Please help! Best regards & Thanks, XXXX.
Posted Mon, 20 Jan 2014 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Do not worry ma'am, I am sure it is a simple cause Detailed Answer: Hello XXXX and welcome. Thank you for writing to us. I can understand your concern, but I would like to start by saying that children are quite sensitive and more vulnerable than adults. In adults, when a positive OBST is seen, we primarily suspect gastrointestinal bleeding, whereas, in children the causes for a positive OBST can be different and less serious. So I shall start by listing out the most common causes for a positive OBST in babies, they are: -Gastrointestinal infections: Which are quite common in children as their gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is still getting used to digestion, and peristalsis (wave like movement of the intestine to move contents or stool forward). Their peristaltic movements may not be as good as ours, resulting in stagnation of contents, which leads to accumulation of bacteria, etc; that can cause infections -Allergies or inflammation: This can be to food, supplement feed, etc. (Eg. cow's milk, soy, etc.) -Parasites -Bleeding from ulcers -Polyps: An abnormality in the inner lining of the GIT -Anal fissure: Is a tear around the anal region -Mother is the cause: At times, the mother can have a cracked nipple which is bleeding. This blood can enter the child's circulation while breast-feeding -Breast milk oversupply -Intestinal disorders -Lactose intolerance -Intestinal abnormalities (eg. intussusception, etc.) and a few others. But these are the most common causes. And cancer is very unlikely and very very rarely seen ma'am, I personally have never seen or heard of such cases in children. Do not worry ma'am, in most cases the cause is simple and one can easily be resolved. I am sure your child's doctor will be able to find the cause and accordingly treat it. Be patient and everything will be fine. I hope you find my response both helpful and informative. Please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications, I would be more than happy to help you. Best wishes.
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