If screening tests show polyps or other abnormal areas, your physician will need to find out if it is cancer or a benign condition. The only sure way to know if cancer is present is with a biopsy — the removal and examination of a tissue sample.
For colorectal cancer, biopsies are often performed during a colonoscopy for routine screening. A CT-guided needle biopsy may also be used. During this procedure, the radiologist uses CT scans to guide a biopsy needle to the growth or tumor. The needle is then inserted into the tumor to remove the tissue sample.
If cancer is present in the colon and/or rectum, the stage of cancer needs to be determined in order to decide on the most appropriate treatment plan.
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