If you have heard of colorectal cancer, it is likely that you have heard of colonoscopies. This exam is used to check for any changes in the rectum and large intestine. Some of the changes include irritated and swollen tissues, polyps, or cancer. Colonoscopy cost in Singapore can range from $500 to $11,000.
Colonoscopy cost can also change if subsidies are applied. During the procedure, a colonoscope (a long, flexible tube) is used. A tiny video camera that’s attached at the tip of the scope allows doctors to see the inside of the colon. There are three primary reasons why doctors would recommend colonoscopies — prevention, diagnosis and follow-up.
Screening colonoscopy is considered one of the best methods to check for possible colon cancer in individuals with no symptoms. Typically, screening is recommended starting at age 50. However, doctors might recommend that screening be done earlier for those with high risk factors.
Screenings can also help doctors detect rectal or colon cancer at its early stage, when treating it is easier. Colonoscopy is considered a type of preventive health screening and is often covered by insurance. However, it’s recommended that you check with your insurance to know what’s covered.
Diagnosing Gastrointestinal Symptoms
Diagnostic colonoscopy may be recommended for those who are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms. This is especially true if the symptoms are suspected to be linked with a possible digestive disorder or colorectal cancer. Some of the symptoms can include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bloating or gas
- Abdominal pain
- Recurrent diarrhea
- Recurrent constipation
- Frequent indigestion
- Blood in the poop
- Poop with unnatural appearance or color
Colonoscopy gets you a step ahead in identifying the possible cause of gastrointestinal symptoms. Other possible tests that will be requested can include X-rays, ultrasounds, and stool and blood tests.
If colonoscopy is recommended, it is because the doctor would like to check the inside of the colon for possible visual signs that might cause the symptoms. When needed, a tissue sample (also known as colon biopsy) will be taken.
Follow up on previous procedures
For patients with abnormal tissues or polyps detected through a previous colonoscopy, a follow up colonoscopy may be requested to check for more polyps or to remove them. Also, for those who tested positive using at-home stool tests, getting a colonoscopy is the next step.
What a Colonoscopy Can Detect
Below are some of the conditions a colonoscopy can detect:
The tissue growths that originate in the rectum or colon’s inner lining is called colon polyps. Some polyps have stalks similar to mushrooms while others just lay flat against the lining of the colon. Most polyps are not cancerous, but they can turn cancerous over time. However, there are also types that are cancerous including adenomatous and inflammatory polyps.
Colonoscopies can be effective at detecting cancerous tissues. While most cancers begin in polyps, it can also come in the form of dysplasia or abnormal cells that develop in the lining of the colon or rectum. When the cancer grows, it can spread to the rectum and colon walls.
This inflammatory bowel disease affects parts of the digestive tract. However, it often develops at the start of the colon or the end of the small intestine. This condition can develop either gradually or drastically. While there is still no known cure for the condition, the symptoms can be managed accordingly.
This is another type of inflammatory bowel disease. Ulcerative colitis is characterized by ulcers and inflammation on the colon’s lining. This condition is caused by an immune system that is overactive and attacks the body’s own tissues. Unlike Crohn’s disease, this condition only affects the colon.