Colon Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification
Several types of exams are used to diagnose colon adenocarcinomas. A digital rectal exam and an occult fecal blood test are usually the initial techniques utilized, while more advanced examinations involve sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, both of which employ a flexible tube-like instrument to inspect one or more parts of the colon. A biopsy is sometimes performed in conjunction with these procedures in order that abnormal tissue can be tested for the presence of cancer cells. A special type of x-ray called a double-contrast barium enema is often used to produce initial images of any growths present, and other advanced imaging techniques (CT scans, MRI, etc.) are generally exploited during staging of the disease.