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A 31-year-old female asked:

can the cecum be seen during a colonoscopy? or is it through a sigmoidoscopy? can cancer of the cecum be detected through radiology tests like ct/mri?

4 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Yes-No-Maybe: Colonoscopy evaluates the entire large intestine, from cecum to rectum. Flexible sigmoidoscopy only goes as far as the left side of the colon, nowhere near the cecum. Routine ct scanning may identify a (large) cecal tumor but is much less sensitive than a colonoscopy; ct colonography is almost as sensitive as a colonoscopy, but is less desirable than colonoscopy since a biopsy cannot be done.
Dr. Eric Kaplan
Colon and Rectal Surgery 42 years experience
Yes No Maybe: The cecum is the first part of the colon and is in your right lower quadrant and should be visualized during a proper colonoscopy. It is not visible with a sigmoidoscopy. Ct/mri may detect a cecal cancer if it is large enough, however a normal scan should not negate the need for a colonoscopy if the concern for cecal cancer exists.
Dr. Michael Ginsburg
Interventional Radiology 12 years experience
Virtual Colonoscopy : Ileocecal valve ; cecum are seen during colonoscopy. Sigmoidoscopy doesn't reach the cecum. Virtual colonoscopy using ct or MRI is an alternative colon cancer screening method that can detect cecal cancer. It's less invasive and has fewer complications compared to endoscopic colonoscopy, but occasionally a follow up traditional colonoscopy to remove the polyp or perform a biopsy is needed.
Dr. Corinne Deurdulian
Radiology 22 years experience
Yes and no: The cecum can be seen on colonoscopy as long as the scope can be passed all the way through the colon. In a sigmoidoscopy, on the colon that is near the rectum is seen. The scope involves a limited part of the colon. CT and MRI may be able to detect more advanced tumors in the cecum unless CT colonography is performed. Small tumors often cannot be seen on conventional CT or MRI.

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Last updated Mar 15, 2019
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