Colonoscopy

Colon cancer - colonoscopy; Colorectal cancer - colonoscopy; Colonoscopy - screening; Colon polyps - colonoscopy; Ulcerative colitis - colonoscopy; Crohn disease - colonoscopy; Diverticulitis - colonoscopy; Diarrhea - colonoscopy; Anemia - colonoscopy; Blood in stool - colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is an exam that views the inside of the colon (large intestine) and rectum, using a tool called a colonoscope.

The colonoscope has a small camera attached to a flexible tube that can reach the length of the colon.

Colonoscopy

There are 4 basic tests for colon cancer: a stool test (to check for blood); sigmoidoscopy (inspection of the lower colon; colonoscopy (inspection of the entire colon); and double contrast barium enema. All 4 are effective in catching cancers in the early stages, when treatment is most beneficial.

Colonoscopy

A sample of colon tissue is obtained during a colonoscopy procedure using special instruments. The specimen is sent to the laboratory and fixed with special stains. The specimen is examined under the microscope for abnormal findings, such as cancer or inflammation.

How the Test is Performed

How to Prepare for the Test

How the Test will Feel

Why the Test is Performed

Normal Results

What Abnormal Results Mean

Risks