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Can a Colonoscopy Detect the Stage of Cancer?

Can a Colonoscopy Detect the Stage of Cancer?

What is a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a test to check for abnormalities in the large intestine (colon) and rectum, such as enlarged, irritating tissues, polyps, or cancer.
A long tube namely a colonoscope passes into the rectum during a colonoscopy. The doctor can see the whole interior of the colon thanks to a tiny video camera at the tube's tip.
A colonoscopy allows for the possible removal of polyps or other types of abnormal tissue through the scope. We can also collect tissue samples during a colonoscopy.

Why do we do a colonoscopy?

Your physician might advise having a colonoscopy to:

Look for any intestinal symptoms. Your doctor can investigate potential reasons for abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, persistent diarrhea, and other digestive issues with the aid of a colonoscopy.

Detect colon cancer. Your doctor could advise a colonoscopy every ten years if you are over 45 and have an average risk of colon cancer and no other risk factors for the disease. Your doctor might suggest a screening earlier if you have additional risk factors. One of the few choices for colon cancer screening is a colonoscopy. The best solution for you should be to have in discussion with your doctor.

colon cancer

Find more polyps. Your doctor might advise a further colonoscopy to check for and remove any more polyps if you've already had polyps. This lowers your risk of developing colon cancer.

Treat a problem. A colonoscopy may occasionally happen for therapeutic reasons, such as to insert a stent or remove an object from your colon.

What are Colorectal and Colon cancer?

Colorectal cancer
A malignant tumour eventually forms when abnormal cells in the colon or rectum divide uncontrollably, this condition is colorectal cancer (cancer that develops in the colon and/or the rectum).

Colon cancer
The big intestine is where colon cancer typically first reveals itself (colon). The digestive system ends with the colon.
Colon cancer can strike anyone at any age, but it often strikes older persons. Small, benign cell clusters called polyps grow on the interior of the colon as the first sign of the condition. Some of these polyps might eventually develop into colon cancer.


Colon cancer symptoms and signs include:

  • Constipation, diarrhea, or a change in the stool's consistency lasting for a long time.
  • bleeding from the rectum or blood in the stools
  • ongoing abdominal discomfort that includes cramps, gas, or pain
  • a sensation that your bowels aren't empty
  • weakness or exhaustion
  • Unaccounted-for weight loss

Early on in the disease, colon cancer is often symptomless in many patients. Depending on the size and location of the cancer in your large intestine, symptoms may differ when they do.


Colon cancer typically starts when normal colonic cells experience DNA abnormalities (mutations). A set of instructions that inform a cell what to do is in its DNA.
Your body's healthy cells divide and grow in an organized fashion to maintain regular physiological function. However, when a cell's DNA is harmed, it becomes cancer, it continues to divide even though new cells are not necessary. A tumour is created as the cells assemble.
The cancer cells may spread over time and engulf neighbouring healthy tissue, destroying it, additionally, malignant cells might go to other body regions and deposit themselves there (metastasis).

Risk factors

The following elements may raise your risk of developing colon cancer:

Older age. Although colon cancer can come at any age, most cases occur in adults over the age of 50. Doctors are moreover unsure of the reason why colon cancer rates in those under 50 have been rising.

A personal history of polyps or colorectal cancer. You are more likely to get colon cancer in the future if you've already had non-cancerous colon polyps or colon cancer.

Intestinal inflammation-related diseases. Colon cancer risk can be increased by chronic inflammatory illnesses of the colon such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

History of colon cancer in the family. If you have a blood family who has had colon cancer, you are more likely to get it yourself. Your risk increases if multiple family members have colon or rectal cancer.

High-fat, low-fiber diet. A normal Western diet that is high in fat and calories and poor in fibre may be linked to colon and rectal cancer. The findings of this research have been conflicting. People who consume diets high in processed and red meat are at an elevated risk of developing colon cancer, according to several research papers.

A sedentary way of life. Colon cancer is more prone to occur in those who are inactive. Regular exercise may lower your risk of developing colon cancer.

Colonoscopy in the screening of colorectal and Colon cancer

A colonoscope, a flexible, lit tube with a lens for viewing and a tool for removing tissue is used in a colonoscopy to inspect the rectum and the whole colon. The colonoscope is introduced through the anus into the rectum and the colon while air is pushed into it to widen it so the doctor can examine the colon lining more clearly. This procedure is similar to that of the shorter sigmoidoscope. Any abnormal growths in the whole colon and the rectum can be removed during a colonoscopy. A thorough cleaning of the entire colon is necessary before the procedure as part of the colonoscopy preparation. Most individuals are sedated in some way during the exam.
According to a meta-analysis of six observational studies, screening with a colonoscopy significantly lowers the risks of getting colorectal cancer and dying from it. For individuals with moderate risk, experts advise a colonoscopy every ten years, provided that their test findings are unfavourable.


A colonoscopy aids in detecting and screening colon or colorectal cancer, but there isnt much evidence on a colonoscopy helping with the staging of these cancer types. The ideal method for testing the stage of the cancer would be to follow the TNM system.

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