Screening, testing, and diagnosing of colon cancer is generally done through a procedure known as colonoscopy. Colonoscopy is a procedure performed by gastroenterologists under mild sedation in a GI clinic or lab. Gastroenterologists are physicians who specialize in evaluating, testing, and diagnosing disorders of the digestive system. Colon cancer is routinely screened for, generally after the age of 50, as part of regular medical care.
According to the American Cancer Association, colon cancer, also referred to as colorectal cancer, is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States every year. Even more disarming, colon cancer is also one of the most highly curable cancers if detected early by colonoscopy or other imaging techniques. Doctors are now fairly certain that most types of colon cancers begin in the colon or the rectum. These are the two organs in the digestive system that are specifically examined by the gastroenterologist during a colonoscopy for signs of colon cancer.