Colon Cancer Diagnosis

Is a colonoscopy the only test for colon cancer?

A Answers (2)

  • A Colorectal Surgery, answered on behalf of
    What Other Screening Tools besides Colonoscopy Are There for Colon Cancer?
    Colonoscopy is still the gold standard for screening for colon cancer, says Joseph Thornton, MD, a colorectal surgeon at Sunrise Hospital. In this video, he describes new testing that checks stools for tumor cells. 
  • A Oncology, answered on behalf of
    Colonoscopy has long been the gold standard for catching colorectal cancer, but it is not the only screening test. Men and women should have some type of screening generally starting at age 50: yearly testing to check for blood in the stool, a flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years, or a colonoscopy every 10 years.
    Fecal occult blood tests analyze stool samples for blood, which may signal polyps or cancer. They involve placing small amounts of stool on special cards that are examined under a microscope.
    Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure in which a physician looks at the lower third of the colon and surrounding areas with a small, tube-like camera. Performed in a doctor’s office with minimal sedation, sigmoidoscopy will detect most, but not all colon cancers.
    Colonoscopy is the best way to visualize the entire colon. It involves threading a luminous tube into and around the colon to detect abnormalities.
    Virtual colonoscopy is a less invasive alternative to the standard procedure. It uses a CT scan to produce pictures of the colon for analysis. Data on the accuracy of virtual versus normal colonoscopies have been mixed -- and, as with sigmoidoscopy, any irregularities mean you’ll also have to undergo a full colonoscopy.
    1 person found this helpful.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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What is the gold standard for colon cancer detection?