Colonoscopy is an important cancer screening tool as well as a diagnostic test used to evaluate gastrointestinal symptoms like rectal and intestinal bleeding, unexplained abdominal pain or changes in bowel habits.
During a colonoscopy, a doctor uses a long, flexible instrument to view the lining of the colon, also known as the large intestine. The outpatient procedure requires anesthesia and specific advanced preparation.
During a colonoscopy, small amounts of tissue can be removed for analysis and polyps (benign growths on the colon) can be identified and removed.
At University of Maryland Medical Center, our gastrointestinal specialists perform colonoscopies as both a routine screening for colon cancer and a diagnostic test.
Colon Cancer Screening
A screening colonoscopy is recommended every 10 years beginning at age 50. People who have relatives with a history of colorectal cancer or polyps may need to be screened at age 45. Your primary care doctor will tell you when you should have it done.
To make an appointment for a screening, call 410-328-7236.
Reasons for a Colonoscopy
In addition to cancer prevention screening, colonoscopies can be used to diagnose or assess treatment in other GI conditions including:
At University of Maryland, colonoscopies are done at one of three locations, depending on the purpose.
- Screening colonoscopies are done in Catonsville. Patients should call 410-328-7236.
- Diagnostic colonoscopies are performed at the Digestive Health Center at the UMMC Downtown Campus or the Gastroenterology Department at the UMMC Midtown Campus.
Make an appointment with one of our specialists for an evaluation at one of several GI locations or find a GI doctor.
For some patients who may not be able to tolerate a traditional colonoscopy due to other medical conditions, UMMC offers a virtual colonoscopy CT scan. Talk to your doctor about whether this test is right for you.