Question

Prostate Cancer

Can a colonoscopy detect prostate cancer?

A Answers (3)

  • AW. Patrick Springhart, MD, Urology, answered on behalf of Greenville Health System

    Contrary to popular belief, colonoscopy cannot diagnose prostate cancer.

    Prostate abnormalities may be detected during a manual rectal exam or by the presence of high levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in blood. Further tests are required to determine if the abnormality detected is prostate cancer. As with all suspected cancers, a tissue sample needs to be taken to make the diagnosis.

  • ABasir Tareen, MD, Urology, answered
    No. It's possible that a rectal exam can raise suspicion of an abnormal finding, but only a biopsy can confirm the diagnosis of prostate cancer.
  • AMonica Borkar, MD, Gastroenterology, answered on behalf of NorthShore University HealthSystem
    Just prior to the colonoscopy, after you have been sedated, the gastroenterologist performs a rectal examination, just like the one your regular doctor does in the office. Sometimes, we are able to feel any irregularity in the prostate, but the colonoscopy itself cannot detect prostate cancer. Your primary doctor will obtain blood tests for prostate cancer screening.
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