Is sigmoidoscopy effective in screening for colorectal cancer?

In sigmoidoscopy, an endoscope (a flexible tube) is used to view the rectum and lower part of the large intestine. The effectiveness of this method as a screening test for colorectal cancer depends on the type of instrument used. The shortest, the rigid sigmoidoscope, is too short to detect colorectal cancers, which usually occur outside its reach. It is no longer recommended for use in colon cancer screening. The two other types, the short flexible fiberoptic sigmoidoscope and the long flexible fiberoptic sigmoidoscope, are longer and therefore more effective.

Sigmoidoscopy does not see all the places where colon cancer can be. Doctors no longer consider it an effective screening test.

Continue Learning about Colon Cancer Diagnosis

Why You Shouldn’t Put Off Colonoscopies
Why You Shouldn’t Put Off Colonoscopies
After contracting with a publisher to write The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo procrastinated writing it for more than a year. Finally, six mont...
Read More
How can an angiography help diagnose colorectal cancer?
Dr. Vincent T DeVita JrDr. Vincent T DeVita Jr
Angiography is an x-ray procedure for looking at blood vessels. Contrast medium, or dye, is injected...
More Answers
Should I have genetic testing for colorectal cancer?
American Society for Gastrointestinal EndoscopyAmerican Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
There are two well recognized hereditary syndromes in which cancer can develop in young people. The ...
More Answers
How Is Colon Cancer Diagnosed?
How Is Colon Cancer Diagnosed?

Important: 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.