A colonoscopy is a minimally-invasive examination of the colon. During a colonoscopy, a long, flexible, narrow tube with a light and tiny camera on one end is used to look inside the rectum and entire colon. A colonoscopy can show irritated and swollen tissue, ulcers, and polyps - extra pieces of tissue that grow on the lining of the intestines.
A colonoscopy is performed to help diagnose:
- changes in bowel habits
- abdominal pain
- bleeding from the anus
- weight loss
Our physicians also perform colonoscopies as a screening test for colon cancer. A colonoscopy is the most effective colon cancer screening tool available.
Colon Cancer Screening Saves Lives
Approximately 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed every year in the United States and nearly 50,000 people die from the disease. Estimates indicate that increased awareness and screening would save at least 30,000 lives each year. The good news is that colorectal cancer is highly preventable and can be detected by testing even before there are symptoms. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy encourages everyone over 50, or those under 50 with a family history or other risk factors, to be screened for colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment is most effective
Are you at risk? Take our Colorectal Cancer Risk Assessment SurveyWhen to begin Colonoscopy screening
You should begin screening for colorectal cancer soon after turning 50, then continue getting screened at regular intervals. However, you may need to be tested earlier than 50 or more often if:
- You or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer.
- You have Inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease, or Ulcerative Colitis.
- You have genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome)
Why choose us?
Riverside Gastroenterology Specialists are dedicated to making you as comfortable as possible. We offer complimentary one-on-one preparation appointments, even from the comfort of your own home through a Virtual Visit. We take the time to assess your health history, and walk you through preparation process for you colonoscopy.
As a convenience, we have provided a video that can be viewed before your procedure from the comfort of your own home. The video contains valuable information addressing everything from what you will need to get at your pharmacy or grocery store, how to prepare your preparation, food to eat when on a low residue, or clear diet, as well as many other great tips.