Colon Cancer Diagnosis
During a colonoscopy, the doctor examines inside the rectum and entire colon using a long, lighted tube called a colonoscope. If polyps or other unusual areas are found, the doctor may remove them or take a biopsy to check for cancer cells.
A barium enema is a test involving a series of x-rays of the colon and rectum. The patient is given an enema containing a barium solution, and air is pumped into the rectum. The barium and air outline the colon and rectum on the x-rays. Polyps may show up on the x-ray. If this test detects polyps or an abnormal area, other tests are needed to help make an accurate diagnosis.
If the physical exam and test results do not suggest cancer, the doctor may decide that no further tests are needed and no treatment is necessary. However, the doctor may recommend a schedule for regular checkups to monitor your health.