Few people really look forward to a colonoscopy. But when you consider that it could save your life, it's a simple step worth taking. A colonoscopy is the best way to detect and prevent colon cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., and the easiest cancer to prevent.

Experts recommend most people have a colonoscopy starting at age 50. People with a higher risk, such as having a family history of colon cancer, should be tested sooner.

During a colonoscopy exam, a flexible tube is inserted into the rectum and moved through the large intestine. A tiny video camera at the tip of the tube allows the doctor to examine the lining and see any polyps that may be present. If colon polyps are found, they can be removed at the same time. You're under sedation, so you won’t feel a thing.

Before your exam, you will need to fast from solid foods and drink liquids to empty your colon. That's essential to getting a clear picture of the lining of your intestine. But today, there are options to make the prep easier than ever.

Mercy specialists will guide you through every step of your colonoscopy. They bring experience and expertise to this very effective form of cancer detection and treatment, and they'll work hard to keep you informed and at ease through the entire process.

What Test Should I Have?

Take our online quiz as a decision aid around your colon screening options.

Get a Colonoscopy Fact Sheet

Learn what to discuss with your doctor and when you should schedule.

Colonoscopy Prep Timeline

Download an infographic outlining the steps involved in getting checked.

What to Expect During a Colonoscopy


Locations Nearby

Mercy St. Francis Hospital

  • 100 W. U.S. Highway 60
    Mountain View, MO 65548
  • (417) 934-7000
  • Hours of Operations:
    Open daily 24 hours.
71.4 Miles

Mercy Clinic Gastroenterology - Jefferson

  • 1400 Highway 61 South
    Festus, MO 63028
  • (636) 937-8675
  • Hours of Operations:
    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Closed Thursday.
97 Miles

Mercy Clinic Surgical Specialists - Jefferson

  • 1400 Highway 61 South
    Festus, MO 63028
  • (636) 543-2140
  • Hours of Operations:
    Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
97 Miles

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