What are the symptoms?
Colon cancer develops over time, and symptoms may not be detected until late in the disease's process. However, weight loss, abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, or rectal bleeding, or even finding blood in the stool or on the toilet paper may be an indication that something is going on in the colon, and it should be evaluated by your physician immediately.
Colonoscopy and Colorectal Cancer
A colonoscopy is an examination of the colon and allows us to detect any abnormalities within the colon itself, or also abnormalities within the motility of the bowel. It's commonly used into the screening of colorectal cancer, allows us to detect polyps, which are small growths in the wall of the colon. Removal of these polyps is important in the detection of colorectal cancer, thus colonoscopy itself is extremely important in your well-being and healthy lifestyle.
Exam Preparation and Explanation
In order to examine the bowel, the bowel must first be cleansed or cleaned and stool-removed. We use a bowel preparation or a solution that the patient would drink the day before the colonoscopy and allow evacuation to occur. This allows a thorough examination of the wall of the colon and better detection of lesions or polyps that need to be removed.
Anesthesia and Risks
Anesthesia is always administered to the patient to provide a comfort during the experience, and to allow a more thorough examination of the colon. Now, the risks of colonoscopy are extremely low. Less than 1% of patients will experience any discomfort, bleeding or injury to the bowel during the examination. However, these risks and benefits should be discussed with your physician prior to the examination.