A colonoscopy is an exam used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine and rectum. During a colonoscopy, a long, flexible tube (colonoscope) is inserted into the rectum. A tiny video camera at the tip of the tube allows the doctor to view the inside of the entire colon. If necessary, polyps or other types of abnormal tissue can be removed through the scope during a colonoscopy. Tissue samples (biopsies) can be taken during a colonoscopy as well.
It is recommended to get a colonoscopy when you are 45 years old and repeat the procedure every 10 years depending on the results of your procedure. Many colorectal cancers can be prevented through regular screening. Screening can find precancerous polyps that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening is crucial because when found early, colorectal cancer is highly treatable.
Read more about the colonoscopy procedure here.