A colonoscopy is a procedure that is used for diagnostic or screening purposes. It can be performed if you are presenting symptoms that need further evaluation or as part of your preventive care health check-up. A colonoscopy is used to diagnose colorectal cancer and is considered the gold standard out of all colon cancer screening methods.
Current guidelines state that men and women who are age 45 or older should start discussing colon cancer screenings with their doctor. After the initial colonoscopy, it is possible that you won’t need another one until five years later.
Let’s talk more about colonoscopy and what is involved in the screening procedure.
What Happens During a Screening Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy screening is a procedure used to check for colorectal cancer in people who are not presenting any symptoms, especially those who are over the age of 45 and have a personal or family history of colon cancer or colon polyps.
A colonoscopy allows a doctor to visualize the entire length of the colon and rectum to make sure it is healthy. For the procedure, a colonoscope is used, which is a long, flexible tube with a camera and a light source at the end. The doctor inserts the colonoscope through the rectum and colon and is able to see the lower gastrointestinal tract and check for signs of abnormal tissue growth, such as polyps and tumors.
Can a Screening Colonoscopy Become a Diagnostic Colonoscopy?
Specialized tools can be passed through the colonoscope to remove polyps and suspicious masses that may be cancerous for laboratory testing. A screening colonoscopy becomes a diagnostic colonoscopy if tissue is removed for testing. A positive result is when the doctor finds abnormal growth in the lower gastrointestinal tract.
This is a general guideline of what you may experience during a colonoscopy, and there may be differences based on certain factors. If you would like more specific details, discuss the procedure with your doctor.
How Do You Prepare for a Screening Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is a procedure that requires preparation. You may need to stop taking certain medications and let your doctor know of any allergies before the test. Colon prep is a critical part, wherein you empty your bowel and rectum of its contents before the procedure, for better visualization. If your doctor is not satisfied with the quality of view through the scope, they may recommend a repeat colonoscopy.
Colonoscopy Screening in California
If you are concerned about colon health, talk to one of our gastrointestinal doctors at inSite Digestive Health Care. We will help you choose the most appropriate method to help you stay on top of your colon health.
inSite Digestive Health Care is the largest private gastroenterology practice in California and is dedicated to providing superior quality, patient-centric services. Trust us with your colonoscopy, whether it’s for screening or diagnostic purposes. For any questions or to schedule an appointment or test, call our location nearest you or use our convenient appointment request form.