Colonoscopy: What a Negative or Positive Result Means

A colonoscopy is an important procedure that helps to detect changes in the large intestine and rectum. It’s used to look for signs of cancer, polyps, or other abnormal tissues that may be present. The procedure is done using a specially designed tube called a colonoscope, which is inserted into the rectum. 

A tiny camera located at the tip of the tube allows the doctor to view the inside of the entire colon. During a colonoscopy, the doctor is able to look for any abnormalities in the large intestine and rectum. If any polyps or abnormal tissues are found during the procedure, they can be removed through the scope. 

Additionally, tissue samples (biopsies) can be taken during a colonoscopy. This allows the doctor to more accurately diagnose any issues that may be present. Colonoscopies are an important tool for detecting and preventing serious health issues such as cancer. The procedure is typically recommended for people over the age of 50. 

It is also recommended for anyone with a family history of certain types of cancer. Other people may be advised to get one if they have certain symptoms such as abdominal pain, blood in the stool, or unexplained weight loss. Because colonoscopies are an invasive procedure, they are usually done under conscious sedation. 

This means that the patient is given medication to make them relaxed and sleepy during the procedure. The procedure typically takes about 30 minutes, and the patient is usually able to go home the same day. Colonoscopies are an essential tool for evaluating the health of your large intestine and rectum. 

It is an important procedure that can help detect abnormalities that may require further investigation or treatment. While the procedure may be uncomfortable, it is an important step in keeping your colon healthy and cancer-free.

What Your Positive or Negative Result Means

What a Negative Result Means

A negative colonoscopy does not mean you don’t have colon cancer. It only means that a colonoscopy didn’t identify any abnormalities. The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk of colon cancer begin screening at age 45 by having a colonoscopy. 

Follow-up colonoscopies at regular intervals is also recommended depending on the situation. However, it’s important to remember that even if the colonoscopy is negative, you should still keep up with regular screenings for colon cancer. Depending on several factors, another colonoscopy may be recommended in the near future.

If you’re an average risk for colon cancer, then your doctor may recommend that you get another colonoscopy in 10 years. If you have any risk factors for colon cancer, such as a family history or genetic syndromes, then your doctor may recommend that you have another one in 1 to 7 years.

It’s also important to remember that even if the colonoscopy is negative, it’s still possible to develop colon cancer. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of regular screenings and to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns. If you have had a negative colonoscopy, it’s important to keep up with regular screenings.

What a Positive Result Means

If your doctor finds any polyps or abnormal tissue during your colonoscopy, it is considered a positive result. The polyps will then be sent to a laboratory for analysis to determine whether they are cancerous, precancerous, or noncancerous. 

Depending on the size and number of polyps found, your doctor may recommend a more rigorous surveillance schedule in the future to look for more polyps. For example, if you have one or two polyps that are less than 0.4 inch (1 centimeter) in diameter, your doctor may recommend a repeat colonoscopy in 7 to 10 years. 

In any case, it is important to follow the advice of your doctor and be vigilant about getting your colonoscopies on a regular basis. While it is a scary procedure to go through, it is an important procedure to have done for the early detection and treatment of any potential colon-related issues.