Colonoscopy News

A colonoscopy is a medical procedure used to examine the colon and rectum, and in some cases to remove tissue in these areas. A health care provider might recommend a colonoscopy if colon or rectal cancer is suspected. A colonoscopy may also be useful to determine the cause of unusual symptoms such as abdominal pain, weight loss, anal bleeding or changes in bowel movements. After the age of 50, a colonoscopy may be recommended as part of a routine health screening to check for signs of colorectal cancer.

More About the Procedure

A colonoscopy is performed with an instrument called a colonoscope. This is a long, thin and flexible tube that is inserted through the anus and snaked into the colon. The colonoscope is outfitted with a light and a camera, and it transmits an image to a video monitor to give the doctor a better look at what's going on inside the colon or rectum. In a typical colonoscopy, the doctor examines the entire colon before removing the colonoscope. The patient is sedated during this process.

Along with examination, the colonoscope can also be used to remove polyps or abnormal tissue from the colon so it can be tested for cancer in a laboratory. Medication can also be administered via the colonoscope to stop any bleeding that may have occurred as a result of the tissue removal.

Risks

Overall, a colonoscopy is regarded as a very safe procedure, and the risk of side effects or complications is small. There is a very small chance that the large intestine could be punctured during the procedure, causing bleeding, but this rarely occurs. And, though it would be a rare occurrence, anyone who experiences fever, dizziness, weakness, bloody bowel movements or abdominal pain after a colonoscopy should see a doctor immediately.

SOURCES: U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Date Posted
Article Title
7/25/2017
$100 Sweetens the Pot for a Colonoscopy

Study found those who were offered cash to get cancer screening were twice as likely to do so

7/11/2017
Easier Colon Exam Boosts Screening, But Insurers May Not Pay

People with coverage for virtual colonoscopy are more likely to get tested for colon cancer, study finds

7/6/2017
Cancer Deaths Higher in Rural America, CDC Reports

Agency head calls persistent geographic gap a 'significant public health problem'

5/18/2017
Too Many Americans Still Go Without Cancer Screenings

Report shows uninsured had lowest rates of mammograms, Pap tests and colonoscopies

4/25/2017
Delay a Needed Colonoscopy at Your Own Risk

After a stool test shows potential trouble, speedy follow-up could be key, study finds

4/5/2017
Many Disabled Adults Aren't Screened for Colon Cancer: Study

Transportation issues, lack of awareness and other barriers may be at issue

3/24/2017
Many Dialysis Patients Get Unnecessary Colonoscopies

Study finds that a limited life span offsets the benefits of the screening test

3/22/2017
Keep Colon Cancer at Bay

Colonoscopy best way to detect disease while still curable, gastroenterologist says

3/1/2017
Colon Cancer Rates, Deaths Drop in Americans Over 50

Report suggests higher screening rates explain the positive trend

2/24/2017
Live Healthy, Live Longer

Regular checkups, exercise, no smoking, better diet and balance between work and play can add years, health expert says

1/9/2017
Obamacare Boosts Breast Cancer Screening, Study Finds

Waiving costs appears to improve mammography rates, but not colonoscopy, even among the poor

12/13/2016
Some Low-Income, Uninsured Patients Aren't Referred for Colonoscopy

Follow-up is not consistent, even if they're part of 'safety net' health program

9/28/2016
Colon Cancer Screening

Does the effectiveness of colonoscopy diminish after a certain age?

9/27/2016
To Help Prevent Colon Cancer, 'Listen to Your Gut'

Belly pain and black or bloody stools should not be ignored, doctor says

9/26/2016
Study: Colonoscopy After 75 May Not Be Worth It

But, expert says age shouldn't be only criterion for screening for colon cancer

5/24/2016
Time to Drop the 'No-Eating Rule' Before Colonoscopy?

Consuming limited amount of low-fiber food day before didn't disrupt procedure, study finds

4/7/2016
Happy Marriage May Prompt Men to Get Colonoscopy: Study

Women encourage healthful behaviors in their husbands, but look to others for advice about their own preventive care

2/8/2016
Health Tip: Restrict Your Diet Before Colonoscopy

Limit fiber several days in advance of the exam

1/25/2016
Study Finds Stool Test Effective for Detecting Colon Cancer

Colonoscopy still preferred screening, but this offers less invasive option, researchers say

1/25/2016
More People Under 50 Getting Colon Cancer, Analysis Finds

Though guidelines suggest screening starts at 50, researcher says it's premature to change them

10/8/2015
Colonoscopy Findings Fade Quickly From Memory

Study found the more time between checks, the less likely patients remembered the results

8/27/2015
Longer Colonoscopy Time May Cut Cancer Risk

Viewing time of less than 6 minutes linked to higher cancer rates, study finds

8/11/2015
'Scoring System' May Spot Those in Greatest Need of Colonoscopy

But one expert cautions that even 'low risk' patients can still develop suspicious polyps

7/8/2015
Colon Cancer Deaths Falling, But 3 U.S. Regions Lag Behind

Rates aren't improving as much in parts of the Mississippi Delta, Appalachia and eastern Virginia, study finds

6/16/2015
The Doctor Who Does Your Colonoscopy Matters

Those with higher polyp detection rates prevent more cancers, save more lives, study says

5/21/2015
Too Few Younger, High-Risk Americans Get a Colonoscopy: Study

Those with a family history of disease should have screening at age 40, but only 38 percent do

5/7/2015
Many Americans Not Getting Routine Cancer Screenings: CDC

These include tests for colon, breast and cervical malignancies

12/19/2014
Could Bacteria Play a Role in Colon Cancer?

Bacterial 'bunches' were prevalent on colon polyps, cancers, study found

11/3/2014
'Purpose in Life' a Boon to Your Health

Study found those who felt their life had meaning were more likely to get screening tests such as colonoscopies, mammograms

10/24/2014
Knowing Genetic Risk for Cancer May Not Change Behavior

Study found those who knew they had greater chance of getting colon cancer no more likely to be screened

8/27/2014
Polyp Removal Doesn't Always Signal Raised Colon Cancer Risk, Study Says

Findings suggest doctors may repeat colonoscopies unnecessarily

8/12/2014
Sigmoidoscopy Does Cut Risk of Dying From Colon Cancer: Study

But experts note most Americans get colonoscopies instead

8/12/2014
FDA Approves Highly Accurate At-Home Colon Cancer Test

DNA analysis of stool boosts accuracy rate of Cologuard to more than 90 percent, researchers say

8/11/2014
Black Veterans Less Likely to Get Colon Cancer Screening, Study Finds

Research in Southern California VA system points to lack of primary care doctor as one factor

6/3/2014
First-Time Colon Cancer Screening May Be Beneficial for Elderly

Healthy seniors might gain an extra month or more of life by getting checked, study suggests

5/5/2014
New Colon Polyp Removal Method May Be Easier on Patients

Shorter hospital stays, less blood loss, earlier return to normal eating seen in study

3/28/2014
FDA Advisory Panel Recommends Approval of At-Home Colon Cancer Test

DNA analysis of stool boosts accuracy rate of Cologuard to more than 90 percent, researchers say

3/19/2014
New Stool Test Shows Promise as Colon Cancer Screen

DNA analysis boosts accuracy rate to more than 90 percent, researchers say

2/3/2014
At-Home Stool Test for Colon Cancer Called Accurate, But Not Foolproof

Review of 19 studies found the exam spotted the disease about 79 percent of the time

11/5/2013
1 in 3 Not Meeting Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines: CDC

Several testing options available for adults aged 50 and older

9/18/2013
Colon Cancer Screenings Work, Twin Studies Report

Colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy and even fecal blood testing all lower risk of cancer death

8/5/2013
Mailed Invites May Boost Colon Cancer Screening Rates: Study

Offering a free colonoscopy or at-home test increased participation among uninsured

5/30/2013
Prepping for a Colonoscopy: Why It's a Necessary Evil

Though new techniques are on the horizon, doctors say colon-cleansing is here to stay

5/30/2013
Delaying Colonoscopy Puts Man in Grave Danger

A little 'short-term hassle' may have prevented stage 2 cancer, Wisconsin resident says

3/11/2013
Seniors Getting Unnecessary Colonoscopies: Study

23 percent of those over 70 undergo screenings that are inappropriate, researchers say

3/4/2013
Colonoscopy Cuts Advanced Cancer Risk by 70 Percent: Study

Expert says annual fecal blood test is equally effective

1/9/2013
Brief Life Expectancy Should Rule Out Certain Cancer Screenings: Study

Risks outweigh benefits for those with few years left, researchers say

12/27/2012
U.S. Cancer Screening Rates Dropping: Study

Confusing guidelines, insurance gaps may discourage people from getting recommended testing

10/23/2012
Colonoscopy Screening May Have Cut Colon Cancer Rates

Large, 20-year study found upper colon cancer cases decreased as Medicare coverage expanded

8/31/2012
New Prep for Colon Screen Uses Four Pills, Not Liquid Laxative

Researchers think the easier regimen will encourage more to get 'virtual colonoscopy'