A colonoscopy is a procedure in which a doctor uses a long narrow tube with a light and a camera at the end to examine the inside of your colon and rectum.
How important are colonoscopies?
A colonoscopy can detect both colon cancer and some risk factors for its development.
Are there early signs of colon cancer?
Colon cancer does not usually present any symptoms until it reaches late stages, when treatment is not as effective. Therefore, it is important to get early detection exams which can detect any abnormalities, thus increasing the chance of survival.
During a colonoscopy, your doctor looks for areas of inflammation or growths in your colon called polyps. If left untreated, polyps can develop into cancer. Your doctor may also take a tissue sample (biopsy) from inside your colon while conducting the colonoscopy in order to check for any abnormalities by examining the cells under a microscope.
When should I start getting colonoscopies?
It is recommended that men and women start getting colonoscopies once they reach the age of 50. However, if you have a family history of cancer, especially breast, ovarian, uterine, and prostate or colon cancer, then it is advised to begin doing the test before the age of 50. Consult your doctor about the right age to get screened.
How should I prepare for a colonoscopy?
It is important for your colon to be empty so that your doctor can get an accurate, clear image. Your doctor will inform you of the preparation that you will need to do a day or two before your exam, which includes:
- Not eating solid foods.
- Drinking clear liquids only.
- Taking a pill or liquid laxative to clean out your colon.
How often should I get a colonoscopy?
It is recommended to get a colonoscopy once every 10 years starting from the age of 50. In the event that polyps or a chronic infection in the colon is detected you may have to undergo a new colonoscopy in 3 or 5 years, or as recommended by your doctor.
To schedule an appointment or for any inquiries, call the Early Detection Unit at (+962-6) 53 00 460.