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Colon Cancer: Preventable, Beatable, Treatable

A Podcast with David Newton, MD, Gastroenterology Specialties

Colonoscopy and Other GI Tests and Procedures

Expert care to diagnose and treat GI disorders

Bryan gastrointestinal services offer a range of procedures to detect and diagnose problems in the gastrointestinal tract. Many procedures use an endoscope. This is a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera. This technology allows your doctor to see inside your body.

If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal conditions, it's important to visit with your doctor to determine your next steps.

A colonoscopy can detect and remove polyps before they become cancer

Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers - and one of the most preventable, if precancerous polyps are found early. Everyone should be screened for colon cancer beginning at age 45 (earlier if you have a family history or are having symptoms).

Talk to your doctor about getting a colonoscopy. It can prevent colon cancer and save your life.

If you don't have a doctor, find one now:

Watch this video of a colonoscopy

Hear from Dr. Griffin and his patient Ruth as the screening takes place. 

Here are other common gastrointestinal tests and procedures

Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is also called EGD, which is short for esophagogastroduodenoscopy. An endoscope is used to examine the walls of your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The upper GI tract includes the esophagus, stomach and part of the small intestine.

An EGD looks for problems such as bleeding, polyps, tumors, inflammation, ulcers or infection.


A colonoscopy uses an endoscope to view your colon (large intestine). Your doctor may remove polyps or obtain biopsies for diagnostic purposes during the procedure. A colonoscopy helps screen for colon cancer and/or looks for problems such as bleeding, polyps, tumors, infection or inflammation. Everyone should be screened for colon cancer by receiving a colonoscopy beginning at age 45 (earlier if you have a family history or are having symptoms).

Watch this video of a colonoscopy

Hear from Dr. Mark Griffin and his patient Ruth as the screening takes place.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

A flexible sigmoidoscopy helps diagnose colon diseases by using an endoscope to examine the rectum and sigmoid colon. This procedure focuses only on the lower portion of the large intestine, and looks for problems such as inflammation, polyps and infection.

Small Bowel Enteroscopy

A small bowel enteroscopy evaluates the small bowel (small intestine). The small bowel is often difficult to see because of its length. This procedure looks for problems such as bleeding, inflammation, ulcers, tumors or polyps.

ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography)

An ERCP uses an endoscope to see the tubes (ducts) that drain the liver, gallbladder and pancreas. This procedure may be done to remove stones, widen the opening to the ducts, place a stent or for many other reasons.

Endoscopic Ultrasound

Also called a EUS, an endoscopic ultrasound helps diagnose and treat diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract. A small ultrasound device is placed on the tip of a thin, flexible tube with a camera and a light called an endoscope. The endoscope is inserted in the upper or the lower digestive tract to obtain high quality ultrasound images of the organs inside the body.

Endoscopic ultrasound may be used to:

  • Evaluate stages of cancer
  • Evaluate chronic pancreatitis or other disorders of the pancreas
  • Study organs including the gallbladder and liver
  • Study nodules (bumps) in the intestinal wall

Bravo pH Monitoring

Bravo pH monitoring is a capsule-based test to evaluate chronic heartburn or indigestion. It measures the pH levels in your esophagus for 24-48 hours. The information is transmitted to a small receiver worn on a belt. Your doctor evaluates the data to determine the presence of acid reflux and cause of heartburn or indigestion.

Esophageal Motility

This procedure measures pressure readings in your esophagus. You will swallow liquids and foods of different consistency to measure muscle contraction. This test is typically suggested for a person who has difficulties with swallowing, heartburn or nausea.

Anorectal Manometry

Anorectal manometry measures the function and coordination of the anal sphincter muscles and pelvic floor muscles to evaluate and diagnose conditions such as chronic constipation, fecal incontinence, rectal prolapse (a condition where the rectum protrudes from the anus) and Hirschprung’s Disease (missing nerve cells in part of or all of the colon).

Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy

Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) insertion is a procedure to place a soft, plastic feeding tube into your stomach through a small incision in your abdominal wall. You may need a PEG tube if you have difficulty swallowing and are unable to get adequate nutrition by mouth.

Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) therapy is also known as Halo. It is a safe and effective treatment for Barrett's esophagus. It treats esophagus tissue (Barrett’s) with radio frequency waves to destroy abnormal tissue. The destruction of abnormal tissue is called ablation. This allows new, healthy tissue to grow in place of the abnormal tissue.

Fecal Transplant

Fecal transplant provides fast and effective relief to patients with severe, frequent diarrhea caused by clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection. Fecal material from a healthy donor is transplanted into the sick patient’s colon through an endoscope during a colonoscopy procedure. The healthy bacteria will multiply and push out the bad C. diff bacteria to relieve symptoms.


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