Colonoscopy Overview

A colonoscopy is a screening examination to evaluate abnormalities or growths in the colon (large intestine) and rectum. This test is considered a crucial procedure since colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.

According to the Journal of Clinical Oncology (June11, 2012), people undergoing a colonoscopy had a 65% lower risk of colon cancer death than those without screening, which emphasizes the need for this procedure.

A colonoscope  (long, flexible tube with light and camera attachments) is inserted into the rectum and advanced with air until the complete colon inner lining is visualized.  Any polyps or abnormal areas are removed during the procedure.  Biopsies and polyps are sent for pathological evaluation.

 

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