Would you share what colon cancer screening is and what it entails?

Expert Answers

IndranKrishnanMD (Physician - Gastroenterology (Verified) ) - 04 / 23 / 2012

The word Screening means that this is done to detect any disease before that person experiences symptom/s related to that disease. Colon cancer screening test is to look for colon cancer & precancerous polyps. There are many tests available but the gold standard test is colonoscopy. Others include testing stool for occult/hidden blood by chemical, Barium enema xray, CT scan of the colon (also called virtual colonoscopy or colography) & flexible sigmoidoscopy. All have their own short comings & I will explain as to what a colonoscopy entails as colon screening is almost synonymous with colonoscopy.

Colonoscopy is a direct visual examination of the large intestine (colon) using a lighted flexible video endoscope. This flexible video camera ( looks like a 1cm diameter rubber tube) is introduced in to the rectum & advanced all the way to the entire colon, inspecting for polyps & cancer. This is done under sedation as an outpatient and takes usually 20-30 minutes to complete the procedure. Precancerous polyps can be removed during the colonoscopy. One needs to clean the colon with laxatives prior to the colonoscopy. As this is done under sedation, she/he cannot drive home on their own after this test. An adult needs to accompany & transport her/him home.

For more information on colon cancer & related issues please visithttp://www.fightcolorectalcancer.org.
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