printemailclick to share buttonfacebooktwitterlinkedin

A colonoscopy is an exam done by a doctor to look at the lining of the rectum and colon using a long, flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end. During the colonoscopy, the doctor can also take biopsies or remove abnormal growths.

A colonoscopy can help protect your health. If colon cancer is caught early with a colonoscopy, nine out of 10 people with the disease can be cured. If you have colon cancer and do not get tested, you may miss out on the chance for early and more effective treatment.

People with a family history of colorectal cancer in a first-degree relative (parent, sibling or child) have an increased risk of developing the disease and should be screened with colonoscopy beginning at age 50, or 10 years earlier than the age at which their family member was diagnosed, whichever occurs first.

The colonoscopy may need to be repeated every five or 10 years depending on the person being screened and the outcome of their colonoscopy.

Individuals with a normal colonoscopy should be re-screened every:

  • Five years for people with a first-degree relative who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer before age 60, and
  • Ten years for people with a first-degree relative who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at age 60 or older.

Individuals with an abnormal colonoscopy will need to be followed up as per ColonCancerCheck’s surveillance guidelines.

A colonoscopy is also the follow-up test for an abnormal FOBT. ColonCancerCheck recommends that you have a colonoscopy within eight weeks of your abnormal FOBT result.

What should I expect from the colonoscopy experience?
A colonoscopy is safe – it usually lasts half an hour and you can receive medication (a sedative) to make you comfortable. For more information about colonoscopy, see Abnormal FOBT Result.

Last modified: Fri, Dec 09, 2016
cancer care ontario | action cancer ontario   620 University Avenue Toronto Ontario, Canada M5G 2L7   Phone: 416.971.9800 Fax: 416.971.6888

Please help improve the quality of our website by answering 10 brief questions in our online survey. Would you like to participate?