What is a Coloscopy?

Colon cancer can affect anyone. 

A family history of colon cancerIt is more common to get the disease if you are over 50. 

Your doctor can use a colonoscopy to look into the reasons for stomach discomfort, rectal bleeding, persistent constipation, chronic diarrhea, and other intestinal issues

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To look at the causes of stomach discomfort, constipation, persistent diarrhea, or other intestinal problems, your doctor may perform a colonoscopy.Credit: Getty Images – Getty

What is a Coloscopy?

According to Mayo Clinic, a colonoscopy is a procedure that examines the large intestine –– the colon  –– and the rectum to identify changes or abnormalities.

A colonoscope, which is a long, flexible, tube placed in the rectum, is used during a colonoscopy. The doctor can see the interior of the colon due to a tiny video camera at the tube’s tip.

If necessary, any polyps or abnormal tissue can be removed via the scope. While most polyps are not dangerous, some may be.

Colonoscopy Polyps are sent for examination to determine if they’re malignant, precancerous or noncancerous.

Depending on the size of the polyps and their number, you might need to continue a strict monitoring program to find new ones.

When should you get one of these?

According to the American Cancer Society, people who are at high risk for colorectal cancer should start screening around age 45.

You can do this by performing a stool-based or sensitive test to look for signs of cancer in the stool. Or, you may opt to have your colon and rectum examined visually.

Colon cancer screenings should be continued up to the age of 75 for those who are in great health and have a greater than 10-year life expectancy.

Adults aged 76-85 should be tested based on their preferences, past screening history, and life expectancy.

For those over 85, screening is not recommended anymore.

The test itself takes around 20 minutes after a day of preparation to empty out the colon

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After a day of preparation, the test takes about 20 minutes.Credit: Getty Images – Getty

What are the possible risks?

According to Heathline.comWhile a colonoscopy can be performed safely, complications could occur in certain circumstances. The risk of complications is higher if a pouch is removed during the procedure. 

Here are the possible risks:

  • Perforations of the stomach
  • Bleeding
  • Post-polypectomy electrocoagulation syndrome
  • Anesthesia: Reaction
  • Infection

Colonoscopies can be used to screen for rectal cancer and colon cancer.

They are very safe but not completely risk-free. It is recommended that you avoid any further health problems.

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