Colorectal cancer diagnosis

If a bowel tumour is suspected, the doctor will take a medical history by interviewing the patient. In the medical history, the doctor asks, for example, whether there is a history of cancer in the patient’s family, what the problems are and for how long they have been observed, whether there has been any sudden weight loss, any abdominal pain or blood in the stool, any constipation or diarrhoea.

During the actual examination, the doctor will carefully palpate the abdomen. A digital rectal examination is an important part of the examination. This simple examination can sometimes reveal a tumour in the rectum.

A variety of different examination methods are used in the diagnosis of colorectal cancer (e.g. colonoscopy, abdominal ultrasound, abdominal CT scan, magnetic resonance imaging and laboratory blood tests). The doctor decides on the appropriate combination of these according to the individual patient’s condition.