The most common symptoms of colon and rectal cancer are often no symptoms at all — at least not in the early stages — making regular colonoscopy screenings are extremely important. A colonoscopy is the best way to detect masses, polyps and colon cancer early, and even prevent cancer. So while colon cancer remains one of the deadliest forms of cancer, when detected early with a colonoscopy, it’s also one of the most treatable.
At Centura Health, we offer state-of-the-art screening technology, highly trained staff and a commitment to prevention and early detection of colon cancer. We understand that colonoscopy screenings can feel intimidating or even embarrassing. But remember: colonoscopies save lives. And our doctors, nurses and support staff take great care in ensuring you’re comfortable throughout your procedure.
We understand that you want to be as prepared as possible for your colonoscopy. Below we answer some of your most frequently asked questions about this common and lifesaving procedure.
Find a Gastroenterologist Near You
When colon cancer is detected early with a colonoscopy, it’s one of the most treatable cancers. Find a provider and schedule your colonoscopy.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a common procedure that uses a thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera on the end to examine the inside of your rectum and your colon. Special instruments can also be inserted and used to remove any suspicious areas or tissue, such as polyps, to be biopsied.
Why do I need a colonoscopy?
Colon cancer is one of the deadliest cancers because it often goes undetected until it is too late. A colonoscopy is the most effective way to find colon cancer early, and when found early, it is very treatable. If you’re 50 years of age or older, you should begin getting checked for colon cancer.
Do I need someone with me following the procedure?
It is important to have transportation ready before, during, and after your procedure. You’ll need to have someone drive you to the hospital, wait for you at the hospital, and drive you home after your colonoscopy because of the anesthesia used during the procedure. Prior to your appointment, our office will remind you of these transportation necessities.
How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?
Your physician office will provide you detailed colonoscopy prep instructions. Please follow all instructions closely and contact your physician's office if you have questions.
When do I receive my results?
You’ll have a brief consultation with your doctor after the procedure. You’ll likely make a follow-up appointment if needed. Your doctor’s office will contact you with results when they’re complete.
What if the test comes back positive?
In most cases, we’ll be able to take biopsies or samples at the time of colonoscopy. If something is found that cannot be resolved at the time of colonoscopy, your doctor will discuss the next steps with you. If we discover a large polyp or colon cancer, we’ll discuss surgery with you and answer any questions you may have in full detail.