This procedure involves the removal of a suspicious sample of tissue from the colon to check for abnormal, or cancerous, cells.
A colon biopsy is the removal of a suspicious sample of tissue or polyp from the colon to check for abnormal, or cancerous, cells. Your healthcare provider may do a biopsy of your colon if they see suspicious areas during a screening colonoscopy. It may also be recommended if you have certain symptoms, unexplained anemia, occult (not visible) blood in your stool or other abnormal lab results.
Many factors can increase your chance of getting colon cancer. Some of the risks factors for colon cancer include:
Most people should have their first colon cancer screening at age 50. However, screening can be done earlier in individuals who are at high risk for colon cancer. It is important to discuss the right age to begin screening with your healthcare provider. The following screenings can help decrease your risk of developing colon cancer, or diagnose it at a very early (curable) stage:
Having colon cancer screening, which often includes a colonoscopy, can also reduce your risk of dying from colon cancer.
Lifestyle changes can help decrease your chance of developing colon cancer. These include:
If your healthcare provider recommends a colon biopsy, prior to the procedure you should tell him/her about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Some medicines can interfere with the colonoscopy preparation or the exam. The day before the exam, you will drink only clear liquids and take medicine to clean out your bowels. Ask about other specific instructions you should follow before and after the procedure. These include:
Just before the test, you may be given a medicine that makes you relaxed and sleepy (a sedative) or one that puts you to sleep (anesthesia).
Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of colon cancer. Be prepared to discuss your symptoms and how long you have had them.
What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a colon biopsy?
Do not forget to arrange for transportation to and from the facility and for help at home.
After your procedure, you should know what you had done, what medication was given and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider after discharge. Make sure you understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans. Your surgeon should also communicate with your primary care physician.
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