Screening for Colon Cancer is very important and most people should begin screening at age 50.
Colonoscopy is the usual procedure to screen for colon cancer. A colonoscopy is when a doctor views the colon, or large intestine, through an endoscope which is inserted into the rectum( once a bowel prep has been done). This procedure may be be able to detect if there is blockage in the colon or find growths such as polyps.
St Joseph’s Hospital www.saintjosephsatlanta.org has been trying a less invasive screening called the CT cologography. The body is scanned with a CT (computerized axial tomography) scanner. Once a bowel prep has been completed, a small tube is inserted into the rectum to inflate the bowel with carbon dioxide while they scan. This procedure does not require sedation whereas the colonoscopy does.
If a polyp or questionable growth needs to be removed, one still needs to undergo a colonoscopy or other procedure. One important note is that the CT colonography is not covered by all insurance companies so you would need to check with your insurance carrier to see if the procedure is covered.