How are colon polyps diagnosed?

A doctor can find colon polyps in several different ways, including:

  • Colonoscopy: A procedure in which a long, thin, flexible tube is placed through the rectum and into the large intestine. The tube has a camera that shows images on a screen and allows polyps to be removed.
  • Sigmoidoscopy: A thin, flexible tube is inserted through the rectum to examine the last third of the large intestine (sigmoid colon).
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan: A radiology test that uses radiation to create pictures of the large intestine.
  • Stool tests: You provide the lab with a stool sample, which will be tested for blood or genetic changes suggestive of polyps and cancer. If the test is positive, a colonoscopy is needed.

If any of the last tests are abnormal, a colonoscopy should be done to check for polyps and remove them.

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