COLONOSCOPY (every 10 YEARS)
A physician uses a colonoscope to view the entire colon and the rectum. The entire colon must be cleaned out in order to perform a colonoscopy. Polyps can be removed with the colonoscope. This is often considered the “gold standard” for colon screening.
CT colonography (Virtual colonoscopy, every 5 years)
Colon screening through CT colonography is a non-invasive, advanced CT scan of the colon and rectum that produces 2 and 3-dimensional images of the colon and rectum that allows a doctor to look for polyps or cancer. The entire colon must be cleaned out. Air is pumped into the colon via a rectal tube and the CT scan is taken. If abnormalities are found, the appropriate diagnostic procedure (colonoscopy) should be performed. Polyps smaller than 5mm or less are not identified.
A physician uses a sigmoidoscope to view the sigmoid colon and the rectum. Less than half of the large intestine and the entire rectum can be seen. An enema is done to clean out the lower part of the colon and the rectum; some doctors require that the entire colon must be cleaned out. Polyps can be removed with the sigmoidoscope. Should be done in combination with gFOBT or FIT test.
WHO SHOULD BE SCREENED AND WHEN
- Every woman and man at age 50, if not before.
- Family history of colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
- Showing signs and symptoms at any age.