Colon cancer testing in hospital

If you have had a colon cancer test test you may require further examination. There are 2 often used bowel cancer tests to confirm a indication of colon cancer: Sigmoidoscopy & colonoscopy. This article will look at both sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy.


Sigmoidoscopy is where the colon is viewed along with some of the large bowel, & colonoscopy which looks at all of the large bowel. The procedure is carried out in a hospital and there is mostly no requirement for sedation. Sigmoidoscopy uses an special instrument called a sigmoidoscope, which is a thin, flexible tube with a minute camera and lightsource. It is inserted into the rectum; and then up into your bowel. The camera sends pictures back to a screen allowing the physican to look for any growths in the rectum or bowel that might be caused by a cancer. It can also be used to take small bits of tissue (biopsies) of potential cancerous tissue for further examination in the lab.It is not usually a painful process but it may feel slightly sore. Most people go straight home after the examination.


Togetherwith sigmoidoscopy colonoscopy is one of the procedures carried out to lookfor colon cancer and other bowel conditions. It is very similar to sigmoidoscopy except that the colonoscope is a larger tube and is used to view the entire bowel. To prepare for colonoscopy you will be provided with a special diet a few days prior to the procedure & a laxative to help empty the bowel on the morning of the examination as the bowel must be empty when the colonoscopy is performed.

The physician will give you a pill to help you relax. The Physician will then insert the colonoscope into your bottom and guide it along the entire length of the large bowel. Just as with sigmoidoscopy, the colonoscope can be used to take tissue samples, as well as sending picturesto the monitor to see if there are any problemareas. The process takes about one hour to finish, and most people can go home once the effects of the sedative have worn off. After the examination, you can sometimes feel a bit sleepy for a while, so it is a good idea to have someone to take you home.

While such procedures are sometimes embarrassing and uncomfortable they are essential if you or your doctor suspects you might have bowel health problems as, either as a result of symptoms or from the results of a bowel cancer test. (Usually a screening test often undertaken in the doctor’s office or even these days at home). Finding bowel cancer early (or colon polyps which are pre cancerous growths in the bowel) can mean a much higherchance of being successfully treated for this often fatal disease.

In the UK there is a national screening program (which is free to all people over sixty years of age) where they are given a faecal occult blood screening testing kit to take every two years. If you have any symptoms or worries about bowel cancer don’t be embarrassed ensurethat you see your doctor straight away. Most times it wont be anything serious as sometimes common conditions (such as Gluten Intolerance (Coeiliacs) can give similar symptoms.

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