How To Prepare For Colon Cancer Tests

This article will show you how to prepare for colon cancer tests and help make the process easier because you know what to expect.. Colon cancer screenings are very important after the age of fifty for men. People can be very nervous and apprehensive about this process. Don't worry, we've got you covered. There are many types of colon cancer screenings used, and some will be discussed below.

To prepare for colon cancer tests you will need to do this:

  • Go over your list of medications with your doctor
  • Eat lightly
  • Have a quickly accessible toilet during the 2 days before procedure
  • Place some scented candles in the bathroom
  • Have magazines in the bathroom
  • Be prepared to feel 'gassy' for a few days following the procedure


  1. If you will be having an invasive procedure, you will need to stop taking certain medications.  These medications include those that thin the blood or delay blood clotting, like aspirin and coumadin. The reason to stop these medications is because of the risk of bleeding during the procedure, which can be worsened by some medications. Some doctors require that vitamins or iron supplements also be stopped prior to surgery. Most of these are stopped a week before your procedure. Make sure to tell your doctor about all medications you are currently taking, including over the counter medications and herbal supplements.
  2. Preparing for a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy  Both of these procedures involve the insertion of a tube into the rectum and colon.  A few days before your procedure, your doctor may want you to start drinking a special solution designed to clean out the colon. Although this drink will cause you many trips to the bathroom, it is necessary to have all fecal matter removed from the colon so the doctor can easily detect any abnormalities. Try to eat lightly and avoid fatty or bulky foods two days prior to the procedure. One day before the procedure you will only be permitted to drink clear liquids. Your doctor will give you all instructions needed in how to prepare for colon cancer tests.
  3. Barium enema preparation  Barium enemas are often used in colon cancer tests. To prepare for this test, you will be advised to drink a special solution to clean out the colon. During the procedure, a tube is inserted into the rectum and a chalky liquid called barium sulfate. This dye is then administered into the colon and helps doctors see any colon abnormalities on xrays.
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