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drmrgirl47's picture
Posts: 129
Joined: Mar 2004

I was just wondering if a sigmoidoscopy will show any signs of reoccurance of rectal cancer. Appreciate any comments.

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

A sigmoidscope will only allow the doc to see polyps/growths in the last 1/3 of the colon - that's all the further a flex-sig can go. That means 66% of the colon is unchecked. Have you considered a colonoscopy - that "sees" 100% of the colon (plus you get drugs for the colonoscopy and you don't for the sig!)

- SpongeBob

taunya's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: Jul 2002

I agree with Bob, the Sig sucks! The lack of sedation realy is a bummer. It will find a recurrence on the exact spot if your cancer was rectal.
I think you should talk to your Doc if you are worried. Get the test right away. It will ease your mind.
Good Luck,

Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

Often times a sigmoidoscopy is done with a colonoscope, so it can go further if necessary. Any person with a history of CRC - even rectal, needs a full scope. And... the drugs are much better with the colonoscope.

Talk to the doc. The prep is the same for both procedures, we all know that is the worst part!


Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

I do knwo that some surgeons do use sigmoidoscopy as part of follow but it is not proven to be an effective component of screening. Recurrence after rectal cancer may be at the same site which a sig would show but may be anywhere in the colon so a full colonoscopy is needed anyway. Not sure why you specifically asked this- is this what is being recommended for youor is just a general query?

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

I have a colostomy bag and the colonoscopy missed my rectal tumor (not once but twice!!!!), as did a barium enema. The sig found it 4 months later and by then it had spread. I will insist on both going forward. None of the tests are the greatest but the alternatives are much worse!!!!

Lisa P.

Posts: 15
Joined: Jun 2005

I don't have anything nice to say about sigmoidodcopies. I had one of these in 2002, and, as indicated by others, it only looks at one third of your colon. My tumor was in my ascending colon, so the sig didn't even come close. Anyway that's my two cents worth.

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