Colonoscopy Screening

 

A colonoscopy at Rockcastle Regional Hospital is an extremely safe and effective procedure for viewing the full lining of the colon and rectum. A colonoscopy is the colon cancer screening method preferred by the American College of Gastroenterology.

A colonoscopy may be a life-saving procedure. It is the only test that allows both diagnosis and treatment at the same time. Colonoscopies not only detect cancer, they can prevent it with the removal of precancerous growths called polyps. A colonoscopy is a simple procedure that allows your physician to look inside the colon for polyps, cancers, inflammation and causes for abdominal pain and bleeding Polyps are abnormal growths on the inside lining of the intestine and they vary in size and shape. While most polyps are not cancerous, some may turn into cancer.A colonoscopy at Rockcastle Regional Hospital is an extremely safe and simple method of examining the colon and rectum.

A colonoscopy may be done for a variety of reasons:

  • Routine check for colon tumors
  • Routine check for colon polyps
  • Investigate abdominal pain
  • Investigate blood in the stool
  • Investigate frequent diarrhea
  • Routine check-up if you have a family history of colon polyps or colon cancer

 

Colonoscopies performed at Rockcastle Regional Hospital are done with the assistance of a nurse anesthetist to ensure you are comfortable and asleep during the procedure. A colonoscopy is performed under conscious sedation. This means that the patient is given medicine through an IV so they are not awake, not aware, not in pain and have no memory of the experience.

The colonoscope is a long, thin, flexible instrument with a camera at the tip for viewing. It is introduced through the rectum and advanced about four feet until it reaches the beginning of the colon. Images from the colonoscopy screening appear on a video monitor with a high degree of detail and magnification providing excellent visualization of the entire colon.

Patients with a family history of colon cancer or polyps or who have a personal history of polyps or colon cancer should undergo this procedure on a more frequent basis determined by your physician. Most colonoscopies take less than 30 minutes, unless there is another procedure involved.

Colonoscopies are a safe, simple method of examining the colon. Doctors are able to detect and remove polyps without invasive surgery during the procedure. They will then perform a biopsy that allows them to diagnose cancer at its earliest stages. Colonoscopies are painless. Our experienced team at Rockcastle Regional Hospital can help you feel at ease before, during and after your procedure.

Facts to know about colon cancer:

  • Second leading cause of cancer death
  • Does not discriminate against gender or race
  • Age is the most important risk factor
  • Family history increases risk
  • Cancer usually begins as a small growth (polyp)
  • Early colon cancer may cause no symptoms
  • Colonoscopy screening is the best test
  • Removing colon polyps prevents colon cancer
  • Gastroenterologists are colonoscopy experts

 

What you need to do:

  • If 50 or older, ask your doctor about a colonoscopy screening
  • Tell the doctor about any digestive symptoms
    (For example: unexplained change in bowel behavior, weight loss, abdominal pain or blood in stool)
  • Know your family history as screening may need to start earlier
  • Before a colonoscopy, have a good prep
  • If you’re planning to have a colonoscopy screening, make sure it is done by a physician who performs them regularly

 

A colonoscopy at Rockcastle Regional Hospital is the best screening test to prevent colorectal cancer. Remember, colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death.