A colonoscopy is a procedure that examines the the rectum and the large intestine called the colon. It is performed by a gastroenterologist trained in the evaluation and treatment of digestive diseases. Colonoscopy is both a diagnostic and a therapeutic procedure. It allows us to detect abnormalities in the lining of the colon and to obtain biopsies for further evaluation by a pathologist.
A colonoscopy is performed for many reasons including rectal bleeding, iron deficiency anemia, change in bowel habits, chronic diarrhea, and colon cancer screening.
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, it is the best test available for colon cancer screening. It allows us to detect abnormal growth called polyps, that have the potential to become cancerous over time, and to remove them at the same time.