There are four basic tests for colon cancer: a stool test (to check for blood); a barium enema (x-ray) test; sigmoidoscopy (inspection of the lower colon); and colonoscopy (inspection of the entire colon). All four can detect cancers in the early stages, when treatment is most beneficial, but colonoscopy is the most accurate.
A newer text, CT colonogrpahy ("virtual colonoscopy"), uses CT scanning to evaluate the colon, but it requires the same through bowel cleansing as colonoscopy.
Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-
A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.