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Colonoscopy is a commonly performed procedure that allows the gastroenterologist to see things such as inflamed tissue, abnormal growths and ulcers. Screening colonoscopy is used to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. It is also used to look for causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits and to evaluate symptoms like abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and weight loss.

Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the US, with about 141,210 new cases and 49,380 deaths expected in 2011. According to the Cancer Society study on colorectal facts and figures, approximately 65% of colorectal cancers can be prevented with screening colonoscopy.

A colonoscopy will require moderate sedation and a short recovery period. You should expect to spend two to three hours in the endoscopy department. – Preparing for Your Colonoscopy

South Georgia Medical Center provides free kits which test for hidden blood in the stool. This test is for early detection of bowel disorders such as ulcers, hemorrhoids, colorectal cancer, polyps, colitis, diverticulitis or fissures. Call 229.333.1070 to request a kit.