Is Colonoscopy Accurate?

Is Colonoscopy Accurate?

Colonoscopy is an examination performed to understand the health of the colon and prevent diseases that lead to cancer. With the help of the examination, the doctor can identify polyps and abnormal growths, which in a period turn to cancer causing cells. The test is capable of detecting early signs of the symptoms and save lives.

Colonoscopy became the gold standard for doctors to identify colon and rectum cancers. The results obtained are accurate given that the patient follows the preparation instructions to the point.

Is Colonoscopy Accurate?

Missing Out on Diagnosis

If the preparation for the test is not on par with the standard, then there is a high chance that the doctor misses out in detecting abnormalities and polyps in the colon and rectum. The preparation, which consists of consuming liquid foods to cleanse the colon, helps the examiner to view the colon as the examiner passes the colonoscope through the rectum. The initial thought about the test was positive, as it provided accurate results. However, it suggests otherwise based on the recent collection of data. The test failed to detect right-sided cancers, which are hard to recognize. Additionally, it even missed in identifying left-sided cancer in the colon.

The Change

Doctors preferred the use of the test to locate polyps and identify cancer-causing cells in the initial stage. However, a few in the medical field are seeking a change to the test. They are debating that less invasive tests are available to overcome the ordeal created by colonoscopy. In particular, the concern is about the hassle that the individual has to undergo (in the form of preparation for the test that lasts about a week) and the price. Colon cancer is a slow-growing disease and is curable if detected early.

The Low Screening Test

The reason for the decreased rate of screening is people’s unwillingness to go through the procedure. While the test lasts for about 30 minutes, the preparation for the same requires at least a week with a change in the diet and coping with diarrhea, which helps in cleaning the colon. Additionally, the examiner passes the colonoscope, which is a flexible tube consisting of a camera to one end, through the rectum while watching the colon on the screen. The tube also helps in collecting tissue to perform a biopsy, which clears the doubt of the doctor.

Insurance Coverage

Although many have a health insurance policy, not every company pays the entire amount for the test. People still need to shell out some money from the pocket. For those who do not have a health insurance policy, the cost will be between $2,000 and $4,000, which depends on the type of test the doctor wishes to perform. For instance, if the doctor chooses to carry a biopsy, then the cost will escalate when compared to that of the standard test. Furthermore, the cost includes pathology charges, doctor service, outpatient chargers, and more.

Colonoscopy Case

Colonoscopy screening test is helpful in identifying colon cancer and recommended for patients aged between 50 and 75. Although the test remained as the preferred diagnosis for locating polyps and cancer, it fails in detecting right colon cancer. An optional test that most doctors are recommending today is the fecal immunochemical test (FIT). There are different ways through which a doctor can prescribe the FIT test. The cost is less (about $20), and if it turns negative, then the individual can go through the same a year later. If that test produces positive results, then the doctor chooses colonoscopy to confirm the presence and then proceed with the needed treatment.

Doctors are also testing alternatives that provide accurate results and are less invasive, making it comfortable for patients.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 17, 2018

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