What Is Colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows the doctor to examine the entire length of the large intestine. Colonoscopy can assist in identifying problems with the colon, such as early signs of cancer, inflamed tissue, ulcers, and bleeding. Colonoscopy is also used to screen for colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy may be used to examine colon polyps, tumors, ulceration, inflammation, diverticula(pouches), strictures (narrowing), and foreign objects within the colon. It may also be used to determine the cause of unexplained chronic diarrhea or gastrointestinal bleeding or to evaluate the colon after cancer treatment, inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.


How Is It Examined?

An endoscope, which is a long, flexible, lighted tube (also called a colonoscope) is inserted through the rectum into the colon. In addition to allowing visualization of the internal colon, the colonoscope enables the doctor to irrigate, suction, inject air, and access the bowel with surgical instruments. During a colonoscopy, the doctor may remove tissue and/or polyps for further examination and possibly treat any problems that are discovered during the examination.


Who Needs A Colonoscopy?

You may need to have a colonoscopy if you have one of the following symptoms:

•A change in bowel habits

•Blood (either bright red or very dark) in the stool

•Diarrhea or constipation

•Feeling that the bowel does not empty completely

•Stools that are narrower than usual

•Frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps

•Weight loss for no known reason

•Feeling very tired

•Over 50 years of age


Colon Cancer

Colorectal Cancer is the third most common cancer in the world with nearly 1.4 million

new cases diagnosed in 2012. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer

death in the United States, accounting for 10 percent of all cancer deaths in the nation.

Approximately 95 percent of colorectal cancers are adenocarcinomas.


Risk Factors of colon cancer

•Have had personal history of colon cancer or precancerous polyps

•Have had a parent, sibling or child who had colon cancer

•Carrying a gene for a hereditary colon cancer syndrome

•Have had a history of inflammation.


Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)


What Is EGD?

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a diagnostic procedure used to diagnose and treat problems in the upper gastrointestinal (UGI) tract. The exam involves the use of a small, flexible instrument to examine the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine. It is commonly done as an outpatient procedure, and you will be allowed to go home within an hour of the procedure. The examination is not painful, but sedation is used to prevent gagging during the procedure. Most patients have no recollection of the exam.


How Is It Examined?

The doctor uses a long, flexible, lighted tube called an endoscope. The endoscope is guided through the patient's mouth and throat, then through the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). The doctor can examine the inside of these organs and detect abnormalities. In addition to performing a visual examination of the UGI tract with the endoscope, the doctor can obtain tissue samples for a biopsy if he suspects a lesion as a cancerous change.


Who Needs EGD?

Signs and symptoms of stomach cancer may include:

•Feeling bloated after eating

•Feeling full after eating small amounts of food


•Heartburn that is severe and persistent

•Indigestion that is severe and unrelenting

•Nausea that is persistent and unexplained

•Stomach pain

•Persistent vomiting


Stomach cancer

Stomach Cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the world, with 952,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012. It is uncommon in the United States, and the number of people diagnosed with the disease each year is declining. Stomach cancer is much more common in other areas of the world, particularly China and Japan.


Risk Factors of stomach cancer

You may need to examine your stomach regularly if you have the following risks:

•A diet high in salty and smoked foods

•A diet low in fruits and vegetables

•Eating foods contaminated with aflatoxin fungus

•Family history of stomach cancer

•Infection with Helicobacter pylori

•Long-term stomach inflammation

•Pernicious anemia


•Stomach polyps