is the test?
- Sigmoidoscopy uses an endoscope to look inside the lower portion
of the large intestine. The endoscope used for this test is about
a half-inch wide and long enough to reach about two feet into
the colon. A sigmoidoscopy can detect early cancers as well as
polyps that could later become cancerous.
Sigmoidoscopy is an effective screening test for colon cancer
if you have the procedure done every five years starting at age
50. Alternatively, you might choose to have a colonoscopy every
10 years to screen for colon cancer. In either case, it's wise
to have a fecal occult blood test in the years you don't have
a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. A sigmoidoscopy is also useful
for evaluating the cause of abdominal pain, blood in the stool,
constipation, and diarrhea.