Diagnosis & tests
When detected early bowel cancer can be cured.
How do doctors diagnose bowel cancer and how is it treated?
A colonoscopy is a test for bowel cancer that uses a long flexible camera tube to examine the lining of the bowel wall.
During a digital rectal examination a doctor or nurse inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel for any problems or abnormalities.
Imaging tests using X-rays, magnetic fields or ultrasound waves may be arranged to help diagnose bowel cancer.
Proctoscopy is an examination of the lower part of the rectum and anal canal with a special 7-10 cm tubular instrument called a proctoscope that's inserted through the anus.
The flexible sigmoidoscope is a long, flexible instrument with a light and camera on the end that's inserted through the rectum.
An air contrast barium enema is an imaging test used to look at the large bowel or colon to check for problems.
Because bowel cancer can run in families, genetic screening may be recommended to check a person's risk of developing the disease.