The colon, or the large intestine, is the lower part of the digestive system. The last few inches of it are called the rectum. Cancers in these regions are often referred to as colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer in the world, with more than a million cases and over 694,000 deaths every year. Gastroenterologists, specialists of gastrointestinal tract diseases, recommend regular screening tests to help prevent colon cancer by identifying polyps before they become cancerous. Endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure used to examine a person’s digestive tract. Using an endoscope, a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it, your doctor can view pictures of your digestive tract …show more content…
It uses a 6-foot long, flexible and slender tube attached to a video camera and monitor to view the entire colon and rectum. The tube is inserted under sedation, and the procedure takes about 30 minutes. Because the tube must travel through 6 feet of torturous and turning bowel with four right angles, the colon wall may get damaged. The risks from sedation and passage of the tube are considerable. Some perfectly healthy people died after having their colon perforated with the 6-foot long tube. The procedure requires a thorough bowel preparation that lasts for three days. If any suspicious areas are found, the doctor will pass surgical tools through the tube to take samples (biopsies) for analysis. The colonoscopy procedure is unnecessary and unduly dangerous, and it costs over $3,000.
Compared to the colonoscope, a two-foot long sigmoidoscope can be used to check patients for hemorrhoids, colon polyps, and cancer. The procedure is less panful, relatively safe, could be performed in about 10 minutes without any sedation, and costs only $200. However, sigmoidoscope exams quickly became unfashionable as screening tools for colon cancer because of the self-serving and financial advantages of colonoscope