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What is a barium enema (BE)?

A barium enema is an exam that enables your doctor to view the shape of the inside of your rectum and colon. To perform this exam, your doctor will insert an enema that contains barium into your rectum. The barium covers the wall of the rectum and colon, making them visible to your doctor during an x-ray so that he or she can spot rectal cancer.

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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.