Can hemorrhoids cause a positive Cologuard test?


This is a question we get a lot:

Can hemorrhoids cause a positive Cologuard test?

Seeing positive results on a Cologuard test is obviously quite startling, so you may be asking yourself the same question.

Let’s get you some answers.

Does Cologuard return false positives?

Yes, there are instances in which Cologuard tests return false positives. According to a study on the FDA’s website , 13% of patients received a positive result on their Cologuard test, even though they did not have colon cancer or polyps.

On the flipside, 8% patients showed negative results, even though there were cancer or polyps present in their colon. So while it’s not very common to receive a false positive on a Cologuard test, it is possible. False negatives are possible, too.

Can hemorrhoids cause a positive Cologuard test?

Yes, hemorrhoids are one possible cause of false positive Cologuard tests.

Most inaccurate results occur because there is blood present in the stool, and hemorrhoids are one cause of blood in the stool. Diarrhea and menstruation are other possible causes.

For this reason, the National Institutes of Health recommends that you avoid taking a test if you are menstruating or have diarrhea or hemorrhoids (or any other type of rectal bleeding).

What to do if you get a positive Cologuard test

If you arrived at this page by typing “can hemorrhoids cause a positive Cologuard test?” into Google and you feel like you’ve found the answer you were looking for, keep this in mind:

Just because you have a hemorrhoid when you receive your test result doesn’t mean you can write it off as a false positive. You should still contact a doctor to schedule a colonoscopy.

Remember, Cologuard shows false negatives, too. The only way to verify for sure whether there’s something to be concerned about is to see a professional. Your GI will examine your colon using endoscopic processes and remove any polyps to test for signs of cancer.

(You may even be able to talk to them about hemorrhoid banding, which eliminates blood clots and can make your life a bit more comfortable.)

While at-home tests are a great way to keep an eye on your health, cancer and polyps can only be truly diagnosed through endoscopic testing and biopsies.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment. 

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