Colorectal cancer is the most common cancer among men and second most common cancer among women in Malaysia. Among the tests used to screen for colorectal cancer include feacal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy colonoscopy, and CT colonography. Although diet and healthy lifestyle plays a major role in colorectal cancer, a highlight on the prevention is still via colonoscopy examination.
Colonoscopy is a ‘gold-standard’ test that enables doctors to look at the inner lining of the large intestine (rectum and colon), using a thin, flexible tube with a high definition camera at the tip called a colonoscope. This procedure is done with the help of sedation or asleep and if there is an abnormal finding during this procedure such as a polyp/s or a growth, it can removed or a biopsy (extraction of tissues) can be obtained to be further examined under the microscope to determine the nature of this growth. It takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes for a complete examination and it is done as a day-care procedure without the need for an admission.
As with any procedure, it comes with a risk and colonoscopy does have a small risk which includes infection, bleeding and perforation which is less than 0.01%. The important message is the benefits of colonoscopy outweigh the risk.
At Beacon Hospital, our doctors perform colonoscopies for patients at risk of, or with symptoms of, ulcers, colon polyps, tumours, and areas of inflammation or bleeding.