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Colorectal Disease

What is colorectal disease?

Colorectal disease is a general term used to describe many digestive conditions that affect the colon and rectum. These conditions can range from mild to severe. Symptoms often resemble those of other conditions which can make it difficult to diagnose. It's important to understand colorectal disease and the role the colon plays in your digestive system so you can better understand the many types of colorectal diseases and be prepared when talking with your doctor.

Diagnosing Colorectal Disease

In order to reach a diagnosis for digestive disorders, a thorough and accurate medical history will be taken by your doctor, noting the symptoms you have experienced and any other pertinent information. A physical examination is also done to help assess the problem more completely.

Some patients need to undergo a more extensive diagnostic evaluation, which may include laboratory tests, imaging tests, and/or endoscopic procedures. These tests may include any, or a combination of, the following:

  • Blood tests to check for anemia or inflammatory markers
  • Stool tests to check for blood or signs of infectious conditions
  • Endoscopic tests, such as colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy
  • Radiology tests, such as an MRI, CT scan or and X-ray

Beaumont's fellowship-trained specialists use the latest diagnostic tests and minimally invasive endoscopic procedures to diagnose all types of colorectal diseases. You can learn more about the many ways colorectal disease can be diagnosed.

One of the most common diagnostic tests is a colonoscopy. Many people are uncomfortable about the idea of going through this procedure when the reality is that the examination takes less than an hour and complications are rare. A colonoscopy will allow your doctor to view the lining of your colon which is an exceptional way to screen for colorectal cancer and other diseases.