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.
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.

Related Questions

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...

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...

Can an anal fissure be detected by a colon rectal surgeon by a digital rectal exam or anoscopy?

Yes. It can be if its located in the rectal vault. Anoscopy can visualize somewhat higher up and can detect fissues as well. Read more...
Not so deep. This can often be detected by simply spreading the anal opening by lateral traction on adjacent skin. Any primary care doc can find the common ones. Anoscopy can see further up but is usually unnecessary unless you are looking for a source of bleeding. 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...