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.

Related Questions

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

Carefully. The physician will insert a gloved finger into the rectum, feeling for abnormal masses and or blood, stool should be tested immunologically for blood. Although still considered a screening evaluation that is acceptable, a colonoscopy is still the best screening tool we have for early colon/rectal cancer detection. Read more...
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...

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

Depends. A digital rectal exam can reduce the likelihood of a cancer near the anus, and can detect if you have blood in your stool. If either demonstrates an abnormality, then you need a colonoscopy to evaluate the rest of your colon. Read more...
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...

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...

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?

Get colonoscopy. This is too much bleeding so it would be a good idea for you to get a colonoscopy to make sure there is no problem. Other things besides colon cancer can cause blood in stool. It may just be hemorrhoids but it is best to get it checked out. Read more...
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...

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...

Are colon cancer and rectal cancer the same thing?

Somewhat. Colon cancer and rectal caner are usually an adenocarcinoma. They are both located in the large intestine. The difference is that they are treated differently. Sometimes rectal cancer is first treated with radiation and chemotherapy before surgery. Colon cancer often does not use radiation therapy. Both cancers use surgery to remove the cancer. Read more...

Does a little bit of bloody mucus mean rectal or colon cancer?

No. It may be colitis or a similar condition. But it does need to be checked by a physician. It could be cancer - there is no way that the patient, himself or herself, can sort this out. Get it checked! Read more...
Blood needs check-up. Bleeding from the GI tract (whether identified via mouth or rectum, whether visible in stool or found on fecal occult blood test) is never normal. Even "a little bit" of bleeding deserves evaluation to identify source. For most patients, however bleeding as you describe does not mean cancer, but rather inflammation, broken blood vessels, diverticulosis, infection, ischemia, fissures, hemorrhoids. Read more...