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.


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
Better Colonoscopy Prep?

Days of diet restrictions before colonoscopy not necessary, BMC researchers find

Colonoscopy at 45?

The American Cancer Society updates its guidelines for colon cancer screening

Colonoscopy Saves Lives

Colonoscopy prevents death from colon cancer

$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

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

Cancer Deaths Higher in Rural America, CDC Reports

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

Too Many Americans Still Go Without Cancer Screenings

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

Delay a Needed Colonoscopy at Your Own Risk

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

Many Disabled Adults Aren't Screened for Colon Cancer: Study

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

Many Dialysis Patients Get Unnecessary Colonoscopies

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

Keep Colon Cancer at Bay

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

Colon Cancer Rates, Deaths Drop in Americans Over 50

Report suggests higher screening rates explain the positive trend

Live Healthy, Live Longer

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

Obamacare Boosts Breast Cancer Screening, Study Finds

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

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

Colon Cancer Screening

Does the effectiveness of colonoscopy diminish after a certain age?

To Help Prevent Colon Cancer, 'Listen to Your Gut'

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

Study: Colonoscopy After 75 May Not Be Worth It

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

Time to Drop the 'No-Eating Rule' Before Colonoscopy?

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

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

Health Tip: Restrict Your Diet Before Colonoscopy

Limit fiber several days in advance of the exam

Study Finds Stool Test Effective for Detecting Colon Cancer

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

More People Under 50 Getting Colon Cancer, Analysis Finds

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

Colonoscopy Findings Fade Quickly From Memory

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

Longer Colonoscopy Time May Cut Cancer Risk

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

'Scoring System' May Spot Those in Greatest Need of Colonoscopy

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

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

The Doctor Who Does Your Colonoscopy Matters

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

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

Many Americans Not Getting Routine Cancer Screenings: CDC

These include tests for colon, breast and cervical malignancies

Could Bacteria Play a Role in Colon Cancer?

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

'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

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

Polyp Removal Doesn't Always Signal Raised Colon Cancer Risk, Study Says

Findings suggest doctors may repeat colonoscopies unnecessarily