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Screening for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are usually administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions.

Primary Screening Tests or Guidelines

At this time, there are no screening tests or screening guidelines for inflammatory bowel disease.

Secondary Screening Tests or Guidelines

Because about 5% of people with ulcerative colitis develop colon cancer, screening for colon cancer is an important component of the management of inflammatory bowel disease. If you have colitis, it is recommended that you have a colonoscopy every 1-2 years to check for precancerous changes or cancer in your colon. During a colonoscopy , a thin, lighted tube is inserted through the rectum and into the colon to examine the lining of the entire colon.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: Daus Mahnke, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2014 -
  • Update Date: 09/17/2014 -
  • National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov. Accessed March 6, 2006.