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When colon cancers are detected and treated at an early state (and have not spread beyond the colon or rectum) they are
cured in 90% of all cases!
The American Cancer Society
recommends that beginning at age 50
men and women begin screening for colon cancer.
Fecal occult blood test
A fecal occult blood test is a test to check stool (solid waste) for blood that can only be seen with a microscope. Small
samples of stool are placed on special cards and returned to the doctor or laboratory for testing. Blood in the stool may be
a sign of polyps or cancer.
Sigmoidoscopy is a procedure to look inside the rectum and sigmoid (lower) colon for polyps, abnormal areas, or cancer. A
sigmoidoscope is inserted through the rectum into the sigmoid colon. A sigmoidoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a
light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove polyps or tissue samples, which are checked under a
microscope for signs of cancer. A sigmoidoscopy and a digital rectal exam (DRE) may be used together to screen for colorectal cancer.
A barium enema is a series of x-rays of the lower gastrointestinal tract. A liquid that contains barium (a silver-white metallic
compound) is put into the rectum. The barium coats the lower gastrointestinal tract and x-rays are taken. This procedure is also
called a lower GI series.
Colonoscopy is a procedure to look inside the rectum and colon for polyps, abnormal areas, or cancer. A colonoscope is
inserted through the rectum into the colon. A colonoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing.
It may also have a tool to remove polyps or tissue samples, which are checked under a microscope for signs of cancer. Learn more on our
Colonoscopy web page.
Digital rectal exam
A digital rectal exam (DRE) is an exam of the rectum. The doctor or nurse inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the lower part
of the rectum to feel for lumps or anything else that seems unusual.
from the Health Library on the UofMHealth.org website:
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