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Duke gastroenterologists perform high-definition colonoscopies that identify precancerous polyps in the colon earlier than when standard imaging equipment is used. We screen for and diagnose colon cancer and other digestive disorders in a high volume of patients, and have the expertise and skill to find small precancerous growths that may go undetected. When appropriate, we remove them during the colonoscopy procedure, before they develop into full-fledged cancer. Colonoscopy screenings are your best bet for finding colon cancer early, before it progresses to a life-threatening stage. The cure rate for early stage colon cancer is as high as 90 percent.

The importance of colonoscopy screening

While the thought of getting a colonoscopy makes some people queasy, it shouldn’t prevent you from getting being screened for colon cancer, rectal cancer, or other colorectal diseases. Regular screening is recommended for people with a family history of colorectal cancer, all people over the age of 50, and African Americans over the age of 45. Avoiding colonoscopy is a major reason why this preventable, treatable and potentially curable disease is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.

During a colonoscopy, a thin, flexible tube is inserted into the rectum. Using a high-definition camera at its tip, our doctors view the inside the colon, also known as the large intestine, to look and remove growths called polyps. Polyps may be precancerous (called adenomas), which can lead to colon cancer. We also use colonoscopy to detect and examine inflamed tissue, ulcers, and bleeding, and to diagnose causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits.

Choose Duke for your colonoscopy because we offer:

  • Experts in gastrointestinal screening and imaging. Our gastroenterologists are specialists in the digestive system, and undergo advanced training in imaging techniques that detect abnormalities throughout the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. We screen a high volume of patients for colon cancer and other GI tract abnormalities, and have the expertise to identify, remove and treat precancerous polyps and colon cancer at the earliest possible stage.
  • Higher detection rates, lower cancer rates. Our advanced, high-definition colonoscopy technology creates sharper more detailed images. We routinely use high-definition colonoscopy because research shows that high-definition colonoscopy screenings result in a higher detection rate of precancerous polyps in people at average risk for colon cancer.
  • Additional imaging options. When appropriate, we may also perform additional imaging studies including barium enemas, which use x-rays to image the colon, or a tube called sigmoidoscope, which is inserted into the rectum, and looks at the lower part of your large intestine. Endoscopic ultrasound, MRI, PET and CT colonography -- also known as “virtual colonoscopy” -- may also be used to look at the tissue and lining inside the colon.
  • Convenient locations. Choose from one of our convenient locations to schedule your colonoscopy. Many offer free parking.
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