Can colonoscopy prevent bowel cancer? 10 questions about colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is an examination of the inside of the bowel for abnormalities such as bleeding, polyps, or cancer. Can colonoscopy prevent colorectal cancer? Is the procedure painful? This article will take you to understand.

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a simple test used to look inside a person’s large intestine for abnormalities such as bleeding, polyps, or cancer. It is inserted into the rectum through a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera at the head of the tube that captures an image of the bowel and displays it on a screen.

The examination process takes about 30 minutes, and you can recover after resting for 30 to 60 minutes.

Who needs a colonoscopy?

Many people in the medical profession, including the American Gastroenterological Association and the American Cancer Society, recommend that people 50 years of age or older should have a colonoscopy, regardless of whether they have symptoms. At the same time, it is recommended that the following patients have a colonoscopy in advance:

① Have a family history of colorectal cancer (some types of colorectal cancer are inherited)

② Individuals have had colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps

③ Rectal bleeding

④ Gastrointestinal changes (constipation or diarrhea)

⑤ Occult blood in stool

⑥ Anemia

Do I still need a colonoscopy if I have no symptoms?

If you are over 50 and have never had a colonoscopy, the answer is: yes. Polyps and many early-stage colorectal cancers don’t cause any symptoms, and if you wait until you have symptoms, it’s too late.

Can colonoscopy prevent colon cancer?

Nearly all colorectal cancers are caused by intestinal polyps, which are abnormal tissues that develop in the lining of the large intestine. However, polyps can be removed during a colonoscopy to prevent colorectal cancer.

What is occult blood?

Occult blood is the blood that is invisible to the naked eye and can only be detected by examination. Occult blood is sometimes caused by benign problems, such as hemorrhoids, colitis, or eating raw meat. However, sometimes occult blood is a sign of polyps or colorectal cancer.

Is the colonoscopy procedure painful?

Colorectal exams are usually painless because the anesthetist will give you a small dose of anesthesia to keep you asleep during the exam without pain. But there is a big difference between an experienced doctor and an inexperienced doctor. Good technique and a little anesthetic will make you feel comfortable. In the more than 10,000 colonoscopies I have performed, most patients reported no pain.

What is the procedure of colonoscopy?

Preparation before inspection:

Before the examination, the feces in the large intestine must be removed, which requires you to drink some clear liquids and liquids to clear the stomach the day before the examination and stop taking some medicines, including aspirin (Aspirin) and other blood-clearing drugs medicine. Be sure to tell your doctor if you take blood thinners, insulin injections, have a heart condition, or are sensitive to medications.

During inspection:

It is normal to sleep during the colonoscopy. You will feel your belly swell as the doctor pushes into the large intestine to open it up so that the lining of the large intestine can be seen. Don’t be afraid to exhaust yourself. If you feel uncomfortable, you should tell your doctor, who can help you relieve the discomfort.

After the inspection is complete:

Immediately after the examination, you may feel sleepy; if you feel hungry, you can eat your usual food right away. Do not drive for 12 hours after the test and have an adult pick you up at home.

When will the test results be known?

After the examination, the doctor will tell you what he found in your large intestine. If there is a large intestinal polyp, the tissue section will be sent to a special laboratory, and the results will be available in about a week.

Is colonoscopy dangerous?

The risks of having a colorectal exam are very slight, and possible risks include drug reactions, bleeding after polypectomy, or perforation of the colorectal wall. If you have any questions after the exam, you can always contact your doctor.

Are there other methods of colon examination?

Doctors may recommend a barium enema for some patients. It’s an X-ray, but it’s not as accurate as a colonoscopy, and it can’t remove polyps or take tissue from the large intestine for testing.

A new method of colonoscopy:

Virtual colonoscopy is a new technique currently in use, but like barium enemas, it is not as accurate as colonoscopy and cannot remove polyps or take biopsies. Wireless video pill endoscopy is another new method, but it only examines the small intestine, not the large intestine.

One thought on “Can colonoscopy prevent bowel cancer? 10 questions about colonoscopy

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