What does fact checked mean?
At Healthfully, we strive to deliver objective content that is accurate and up-to-date. Our team periodically reviews articles in order to ensure content quality. The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data.
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Colonscopy
- The Mayo Clinic: Prostate Cancer - Tests and Diagnosis
The information contained on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a professional health care provider. Please check with the appropriate physician regarding health questions and concerns. Although we strive to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee to that effect is made.
Can the Prostate Be Checked With a Colonscopy?
A colonoscopy is a medical testing procedure designed to detect dangerous changes in the colon or rectum. It is not used to check for changes in the nearby prostate gland.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, your doctor performs a colonoscopy by inserting a flexible, lighted tube (colonoscope) through the anus and into the rectum and colon. A tiny camera attached to the end of the colonoscope sends live images to an external viewing monitor.
Digital Rectal Exam
During a prostate exam, your doctor may perform a digital rectal exam, which involves using a gloved finger inserted in the rectum to physically detect changes in the prostate, which sits outside the rectum wall.
Your doctor may also perform a transrectal ultrasound, which involves using a cigar-shaped probe inserted into the rectum to bounce sound waves off the prostate and create a detailed image of the gland, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Similarities and Differences
Although these prostate exam techniques require access through the rectum, they differ from colonoscopies, which have an unrelated diagnostic purpose.
Additional Prostate Tests
Additional tests performed to check prostate health include prostate biopsy (tissue sampling) and a PSA test, which measures the presence of an immune system marker linked to increased prostate cancer risks.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images