NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Colon Cancer, Version 1.2014
counselor can talk with you about getting tested for
syndromes related to colon cancer. To be tested, you
must provide a sample of blood. Using the sample, a
pathologist can test your genes for abnormal changes
that cause these syndromes.
A total colonoscopy allows your doctor to look for
other polyps or diseases in all of your large intestine.
To prepare for this test, your doctor may place you on
a liquid diet for 1 to 3 days. You may also be given a
laxative or an enema to clean out your intestine the
night before the test. Right before the test, you may
be given a sedative to lessen any pain. You will be
asked to wear a hospital gown and lie on your side
during the test as shown in
A colonoscope will be inserted into your anus and
gently guided through your large intestine. To see
better, gas may be pumped into your intestine
to make it bigger. You may be asked to shift a
little during the test to help your doctor guide the
colonoscope. The picture from the colonoscope will
be viewed by your doctor on a screen. If a polyp is
found, a cutting tool will be used to remove it.
A colonoscopy takes about 30 to 60 minutes.
Afterward, you may stay for another hour for any
drugs that were used to wear off. However, you’ll still
need someone to drive you home. The next day, you
will likely feel normal. If you have severe pain, bloody
stools, or weakness, contact your doctor.
Figure 3.1 Colonoscopy
You will be asked to wear
a hospital gown and lie
on your side during the
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