Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Endoscopic procedures for colorectal cancer

In addition to a colonoscopy, endoscopic procedures used to diagnose colorectal cancer include:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy: For this procedure, a gastroenterologist uses a lighted tube with a tiny camera attached to its end to examine the rectum and lower part of the colon (the sigmoid colon) for polyps or other abnormalities. The gastroenterologist may also perform a biopsy to collect samples of tissues or cells for further investigation. This colorectal cancer detection test is an outpatient procedure that does not typically require pain medication or sedative anesthesia.
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS): A gastroenterologist uses this procedure to carefully examine the digestive tract and nearby organs, including the pancreas, liver, gallbladder and bile duct. This high-resolution imaging technology helps detect potential tumors and identify lymph nodes in the chest and abdomen, where the cancer may have spread. A very thin needle is used to obtain tissue samples, which are analyzed to determine whether cancer cells are present. Sometimes, doctors use an EUS to stage rectal cancer and determine an appropriate treatment plan.

What is an endoscopic procedure?

Our gastroenterologists use imaging guidance and innovative tools to perform minimally invasive endoscopic procedures and tests that aid in diagnosing colorectal cancer, as well as treating the disease. An endoscopic procedure refers to examining the inside of the body using an endoscope, an instrument that usually has a light attached, which is inserted directly into a body cavity or organ.

Endoscopic procedures