Advertisement

What happens if colorectal cancer screening test shows an abnormality?

The type of colorectal cancer screening test you choose determines the management if there is an abnormality. If you choose fecal occult blood testing and the test shows that there is blood in your stool, it is likely that a consultation with a gastroenterologist (GI doctor) will be recommended for further evaluation, which may include colonoscopy. If you choose colonoscopy as your screening test, usually a biopsy of the abnormality will be taken during your procedure, and several pictures are taken of the area as well. If you would like a more detailed explanation, discuss your questions with the physician performing your procedure.

If a screening test finds an abnormality, the health care provider will perform a physical exam and evaluate the person's personal and family medical history. Additional tests may be ordered. These tests may include x-rays of the gastrointestinal tract; sigmoidoscopy.The health care provider may also order a blood test called a CEA assay to measure carcinoembryonic antigen, a protein that is sometimes detected in greater amounts in patients with colorectal cancer. If an abnormality is found during a sigmoidoscopy, a biopsy or polypectomy may be performed during the test, and a colonoscopy may be recommended. If an abnormality is found during a standard colonoscopy, a biopsy or polypectomy is performed to determine whether cancer is present. If an abnormality is detected during virtual colonoscopy, most patients would be referred for a standard colonoscopy the same day.

This answer is based on source information from National Cancer Institute.

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
What is the gold standard for colon cancer detection?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in t...
More Answers
How is colorectal cancer diagnosed?
Jumo HealthJumo Health
To diagnose colorectal cancer, also called colon cancer or bowel cancer, doctors may do a blood test...
More Answers
How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy
How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy

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.