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Doctor insights on: How Is A Digital Rectal Exam Done To Detect Colon Cancer

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How is a digital rectal exam done to detect colon cancer?

How is a digital rectal exam done to detect colon cancer?

May not: A digital rectal examination can only test as far a finger will go into the rectum. A finger inserted through the anus cannot reach colon, therefore a digital rectal examination cannot detect colon cancer. However, rectum is part of the colon and a common site for cancer and a digital rectal exam is useful. Colonoscopy remains the gold standard for detecting colon cancer. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,214 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Can the rectal exam find colon cancer?

Can the rectal exam find colon cancer?

Only: ..If it is low in the rectum and palpable to the finger. Also, if it's causing bleeding, the doctor may do an occult blood test during the rectal exam which if positive, may lead to the discovery of cancer later. Not a great screening test, though. ...Read more

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What can a doctor's rectal exam tell me about my risk for colon cancer?

What can a doctor's rectal exam tell me about my risk for colon cancer?

Screening tool: On rare occasion a low lying rectal cancer can be detected on the exam by feeling it. Most often stool is sampled and analyzed for traces of blood. If blood is found then the doctor can check for hemorrhoids and may recommend a colonoscopy to find out if there is a specific cause such as a polyp or a cancer or diverticulosis. ...Read more

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Been having thin/narrow stools.Clear rectal exam by gp/no blood in stool.Should i fear colon cancer?I'm 39 &had adenocarcinoma insitu of cervix 4yrago

Been having thin/narrow stools.Clear rectal exam by gp/no blood in stool.Should i fear colon cancer?I'm 39 &had adenocarcinoma insitu of cervix 4yrago

Possible lesion: In situ adeno unrelated unless some for of radiation employed that could narrow distal bowel. Narrowing of stool suggests that there is some constriction of bowel causing a narrowing of the lumen and thus the stool. Blood does not have to be present but relying on a gp rectal not satisfactory. Sigmoidoscopy at a minimum and colonoscopy more accepted for this problem. ...Read more

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Will a colonoscopy detect anal cancer/mass as well colon cancer? Is the digital exam done before the colonoscopy is performed?

Will a colonoscopy detect anal cancer/mass as well colon cancer? Is the digital exam done before the colonoscopy is performed?

Not able to detect.: Several instruments are used for examining the rectum and then colon. The anal canal is examined with an anoscope being several inches long. confirmation is by digital exam. The proctoscope looks at the rectum above the anus after which sigmoidoscopes were used but now replaced by the colonoscope for examining upper rectum to cecum. Lesion found are then bx. ...Read more

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Maroon gooey blood after bowel a month ago had bright red last wk. No history of colon Ca. pcp rectal exam normal. Tiny red spots on poop. No pain. cause?

Maroon gooey blood after bowel a month ago had bright red last wk. No history of colon Ca. pcp rectal exam normal. Tiny red spots on poop. No pain. cause?

Many possibilities: The possiblities are numerous including hemorrhoids, anal fissures, diverticulitis, colitis, AV malformations, gastric ulcers. The one possibliity however that does need to be ruled out sooner than later is colon cancer. You may need to have a colonoscopy. Colon cancer is not the most common cause but it is the most concerning cause. ...Read more

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What laboratory exams are typically ordered to follow a year(s) after a successful colon cancer surgery?

What laboratory exams are typically ordered to follow a year(s) after a successful colon cancer surgery?

Generally: Depending on a patient's overall health, once or twice yearly physical examination, basic blood tests, maybe yearly colonoscopy. Blood cea testing sometimes. Also depends on the stage & grade of the cancer at the time of diagnosis. X- ray or ct scan not a routine usually unless there are clinical concerns. ...Read more

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How many are rectal/colon cancer survivors over 5 years?

How many are rectal/colon cancer survivors over 5 years?

It depends: There are many survivors. The rate varies by stage. Early stage patients have an excellent 5 year outcome. Even stage iii patients have a survival of 70-75% with proper treatment. ...Read more

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Rectal Exam (Definition)

A rectal exam is where a practitioner examines the last part of the colon (or rectum) by placing a finger or small plastic scope through the anus. This is important to detect issues such as prostate problems, continence disturbances, rectal cancers, and more. While often uncomfortable for patients it is very short and gives a lot of ...Read more


Dr. Eric Kaplan
921 doctors shared insights

Colon Cancer (Definition)

Final few yards of your intestine, between the terminal ileum (small bowell) and rectum. It squeezes water and solidifies waste to stool. It is subject to outpouching (divertics) polyps, and these can become cancers. The cells are abnormal, invade into the muscle and travel ...Read more