Last updated date: 11-Mar-2024

Originally Written in English

Colorectal cancer. Why we need timely colonoscopy?

  • CloudHospital

  • Colorectal cancer

  • General Health

What is Colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer (CRC), also known as bowel cancer, colon cancer, or rectal cancer, is the development of cancer from the colon or rectum. A cancer is the malignant, uncontrolled growth of cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Colorectal cancers tend to growth slowly and are more prevalent for people over fifty years of age. Therefore, early detection of polyps is key to cancer prevention and treatment. Many doctors recommend exams once over two years, especially for those around fifty or over in age, regardless of gender. Colonoscopy is the standard method used to assess visually the health and condition of the colon by the doctor.

A colonoscopy is a visual examination of the entire large intestine/colon using a lit, flexible colonoscope. To be certain you are comfortable and relaxed, you will be sedated through an IV injection. In fact, most patients are asleep during the entire process and experience no pain during the procedure while remembering little to nothing about it due to the effects of sedation.


How to prepare?

Thorough cleansing of the entire bowel is essential for effective results so there will not be a need for retesting. Instructions for doing this will be given by your physician, but this can include a combination of the following: enema, restriction from eating solid foods a day or two before the test and taking laxatives. You may be told to stop taking aspirin or other blood-thinning medications for several days before the test as well.

To avoid dehydration, patients should drink clear, fat-free bouillon or broth, gelatin, strained fruit juice (no grape juice or any liquid with red color), water, plain and unsweetened coffee or tea, or diet soda. Unless otherwise instructed, continue taking any regularly prescribed medication. Your physician may also ask you to stop taking iron preparations a few weeks before the test if you are on them.

Your doctor will also want to know if you have heart disease, lung disease or any medical condition that may need special attention. The following sequentially describes the procedure and thereafter.


What can be expected during the examination?

When it is time to start the screening, you will be asked to lie on your side. Once sedation takes effect, the colonoscope is inserted through the rectum and moved gently around the bends of the colon. As the colonoscope makes its way through the colon, the physician can see the lining of the colon on a video screen. Typically, the physician looks all the way to the end of the large intestine, and back, for anything unusual. The entire scoping process typically takes just between fifteen and thirty minutes. When complete, your nurse will take you into a recovery area, where the sedation quickly wears off. Your physician will talk to you about your test and any findings.


What can be found?

If polyps (very small growths of tissue) are found, your doctor can perform a biopsy immediately. The biopsy involves passing an instrument through the scope to remove the polyp, which is sent to a laboratory to be analyzed.

You should feel nothing when a biopsy or polyp is taken, and you should experience no recovery pain. While the overwhelming majority of polyps are harmless, your physician will have it tested and confirm your results with you, usually within a day or two, depending on the hospital’s ability to perform such tests. Furthermore, since most colon cancer starts as a benign polyp, when these are removed, the possibility of these cells turning into cancer cells is eliminated or drastically lowered.


What happens afterwards?

Once your recovery nurse determines that most of the effect of the sedation has worn off, you will be released, however, you should not drive so you must have another method of transportation planned. Even though you will feel fine, the lingering, subtle effects of the sedation will make it dangerous for you to drive, so a responsible adult must be there to take you home. You should be able to resume normal activity the next day.


If you are concerned or simply want to have a colonoscopy exam done as part of a yearly or bi-yearly exam, you can consider CloudHospital to seamlessly coordinate your experience. CloudHospital is the global healthcare nexus on the web, easily accessible 24/7 and staffed with highly experienced professionals in the field of medical treatment access across the globe.